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Resistance exercises may be superior to aerobic exercises for improving ZZZs – ScienceDaily

Resistance exercise may be superior to aerobic exercise for better sleep, and sleep is important for cardiovascular health, according to preliminary research to be presented at the 2022 conference on epidemiology, prevention, lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health from the American Heart Association. will be held in-person in Chicago and virtually from Tuesday, March 1 through Friday, March 4, 2022, and will offer the latest population-based scientific advances related to the promotion of cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

“There is growing recognition that getting enough sleep, especially quality sleep, is important for health, including cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis,” the report said. study author, Angelique Brellenthin, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. “Aerobic activity is often recommended to improve sleep, but very little is known about the effects of resistance exercise compared to aerobic exercise on sleep. The Scientific Report of the Advisory Committee on Physical Activity Guidelines 2018 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified the need for more research into resistance exercise and sleep outcomes.Our study is one of the largest and longest running exercise trials in a general adult population to directly compare the effects of different types of exercise on several sleep parameters.

Previous research has confirmed that not getting enough sleep (the recommended amount for adults is seven to eight hours a day) or having poor quality sleep increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. which occurs when fatty deposits build up in the arteries. Lack of sleep is linked to weight gain, diabetes and inflammation, all of which can worsen cardiovascular disease. Sleeping too much or too little has also been shown to increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and death.

For this study, the researchers recruited 386 adults who met the criteria for being overweight or obese, ie a body mass index of 25 to 40 kg/m². The participants were inactive and had high blood pressure, measuring 120 to 139 mm Hg systolic (top number) and 80 to 89 mm Hg diastolic (bottom number). Participants were randomly assigned to a no-exercise group (for comparison) or to one of three exercise groups (aerobic only, resistance only, or combination aerobic and resistance) for 12 months. All members of the exercise groups participated in supervised 60-minute sessions, three times a week, with the combined exercise group doing 30 minutes of aerobics and 30 minutes of resistance exercise.

The different workouts included:

  • Aerobic exercise participants could choose from treadmills, upright or recumbent bikes, or ellipticals for their aerobic modality during each session. The researchers monitored their heart rate to keep them within the prescribed heart rate range for moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise at all times.
  • The resistance exercise group completed their sets and reps on 12 resistance machines to work all major muscle groups in one session. The machines included a leg press, chest press, lat pulldown, leg curl, leg extension, bicep curl, tricep pushup, shoulder press, abdominal crunch, bottom extension of the back, a rotation of the torso and an abduction of the hip. Participants performed three sets of 8-16 reps at 50-80% of their one-rep max.
  • The combined group did 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at moderate to vigorous intensity, then two sets of 8 to 16 reps of resistance exercise on 9 machines instead of 12.

Study participants completed various assessments at baseline and 12 months, including the self-reported Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which measures sleep quality. The researchers also measured sleep duration; sleep efficiency (how long you’re actually asleep divided by total time spent in bed); sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep after getting into bed); and sleep disturbances (how often sleep is disturbed by things like being too hot or too cold, snoring or coughing, having to go to the bathroom, or having pain). Lower scores on the PSQI indicate better sleep quality, ranging from 0 for the best sleep to 21 for the worst possible sleep. Scores above five are considered “poor quality sleep”.

The study found:

  • More than a third (35%) of study participants had poor quality sleep at the start of the study.
  • Among the 42% of participants who did not sleep at least 7 hours at the start of the study, sleep duration increased by an average of 40 minutes over 12 months for the resistance exercise group, compared with an increase of approximately 23 minutes in the aerobic exercise group. exercise group, about 17 minutes in the combined exercise group and about 15 minutes in the control group.
  • Sleep efficiency increased in the resistance exercise and combined exercise groups, but not in the aerobic exercise or no exercise group.
  • Sleep latency decreased slightly, by 3 minutes, in the group assigned to resistance exercise only, with no noticeable change in latency in the other groups of participants.
  • Sleep quality and sleep disturbances improved in all groups, including the group that did not exercise.

Based on these findings, resistance exercise interventions may be a novel way to promote better sleep and improve cardiovascular health.

“Although both aerobic and resistance exercise are important for overall health, our results suggest that resistance exercise may be superior when it comes to getting better ZZZs at night,” Brellenthin said. “Restraint exercises significantly improved sleep duration and efficiency, which are key indicators of sleep quality that reflect a person’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Therefore, if your sleep has deteriorated significantly over the past two stressful years, consider incorporating at least two resistance exercise sessions into your regular exercise routine to improve your overall muscle and bone health, as well as your sleep .”

A limitation of the study is the researchers’ use of a self-reported sleep questionnaire to assess sleep rather than objectively monitor sleep.

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Materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.