They found that weight training reduced the likelihood of a person suffering a cardiovascular event, dying from a cardiovascular event or from any cause at all - even if they did no other exercise.
The most interesting takeaway? You don't have to lift for hours on end to reap the benefits.
“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could be effective,” DC Lee, associate professor of kinesiology, told ScienceDaily.
The researchers went on to investigate the relationship between weight-lifting, high-cholesterol and diabetes (again, independent of other forms of exercise). Their findings? Less than 60 minutes a week of resistance training was associated with a 29 per cent lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome (aka, the cluster of conditions that pre-empt heart disease, stroke and diabetes.) Plus, the risk of high cholesterol dropped by 32 per cent.
“Building muscle helps move your joints and bones, but also there are metabolic benefits,” Lee added. “If you build muscle, even if you're not aerobically active, you burn more energy.”
As if you needed another reason to hit up the gym this week.