A recent study showed that six weeks of weight training can benefit the vascular health of black men, a demographic that usually suffers from higher rates of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, as well as kidney disease and hypertension, which can develop in individuals as young as 8 to 10 years old.
During the research, investigators from the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago analyzed 14 black males and 18 Caucasian males who had similar body mass indexes, cardiovascular fitness levels and ages, none of whom had undergone resistance or endurance training in the past.
By analyzing the participants’ blood markers that usually indicate inflammation, immune response, the remodeling of arteries and infection, they found that the weightlifting training benefitted the black males but not the white males.
“This suggests that resistance exercise training is more beneficial in young African-American men than in Caucasian men of the same age,” said study author Bo Fernhall, Ph.D.
Previous research conducted by Fernhall showed that resistance exercises helped to reduce the levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in black males but not white males. CRP levels usually increase after a person is injured or gets an infection, and they are normally linked with heart disease and cancer. The research also found that other markers that indicate vascular conditions, such as MMPs and 8-isoprostane, were also reduced in African-American males but not in Caucasians.
Benefits of exercise
The American Heart Association (AHA) journal, Circulation, notes that throughout the last 40 years, numerous research has indicated the beneficial effects that exercise has on heart health, and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine, along with the U.S. Surgeon General, are all in unanimous agreement about its benefits.
The source also reports that nearly 25,000 deaths every year are attributed to people not exercising adequate amounts, and leading a sedentary lifestyle has also been shown to contribute to other non-cardiovascular-related diseases, like diabetes, osteoporosis and colon cancer.
Some other benefits of exercising that Circulation notes are reduced body weight, decreased blood pressure, reduced LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, increased HDL, or “good cholesterol” and increased insulin sensitivity. People who exercise also have an increased quality of life. Physical activity can boost self-confidence, lower stress levels and reduce anxiety.
In addition to exercise, people should also try to eat heart-healthy diets. Plenty of fruits and vegetables and low levels of trans fats should be included. The AHA also reports that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial. A person can find omega-3s in chia seeds, flax seeds and an Omegakrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.