AHA Endorses Resistance Training for Heart Patients

New scientific statement offers guidelines on patient selection, preparation and supervision

MONDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Under proper supervision, most heart patients can safely add resistance training to an exercise program and it may have significant long-term beneficial effects on their cardiovascular and overall health, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published in the July 31 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Mark A. Williams, Ph.D., co-chair of the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism, and colleagues updated the first American Heart Association advisory on resistance training, which was published in 2000.

The new update covers six topics: health benefits, impact on the cardiovascular system structure and function, role in modifying cardiovascular disease risk factors, benefits in selected populations, process of medical evaluation for participation, and prescriptive methods.

"For persons at moderate to high risk of [cardiovascular] events, resistance training can be safely undertaken with proper preparation, guidance and surveillance," the authors conclude. "Because long-term compliance remains a challenge for adult fitness and exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programs, the incorporation of resistance training can provide variety in the training regimen and can increase the potential for maintenance of interest and improved compliance."

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