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This Science-Backed Workout Can Improve Your Heart Health After 45

Give your heart health a major boost by doing this combination workout.

If you make cardio a priority when it comes to fitness, get ready to step up your game. This science-backed workout can improve your heart health after 45, and we're pretty sure you'll love it.

According to research, by performing some solid combined training—a workout that consists of both resistance and cardio workouts, you can seriously improve your heart health, and science says so! Why is age 45 the magic number? According to research performed by John Hopkins Medicine, bumping up your exercise over a six-year period during the middle-aged stage of life is connected to a reduced chance of heart failure.

So read on to learn about how this productive workout regimen can make a substantial difference to your cardio health. And next up, check out The Best Exercises To Regain Balance After 60, Trainer Says.

The difference between aerobic and resistance exercises.

mature woman performing side plank in autumn leaves to slow muscle aging

Here's an example of how it works, based on science. Tweaks in exercise and diet can definitely equal a healthier lifestyle. There are many valuable recommendations provided by the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and more regarding hypertension. Most of them emphasize aerobic exercise but don't offer as much information regarding the goodness derived from resistance exercise, particularly concerning cardiovascular fitness in people with high blood pressure.

Typically, aerobic workouts promote overall better cardio and cardiorespiratory health. Aerobic exercises differ from resistance movements, which focus on strengthening your muscles and improving body composition. Resistance movements build your bone density and muscle mass.

Combining aerobic and resistance exercises can benefit individuals who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research has revealed that by combining the two—aerobic and resistance exercise—you can significantly decrease your blood pressure. This tiny reduction makes a huge difference! In fact, by doing this regimen, the average individual can lower the risk of stroke by 8% to 14%, cardiac death by as much as 5%, and death in general by 4%. The point here is that previous research on cardiovascular and blood pressure risks has emphasized either resistance or aerobic workouts—not the benefits of combining the two forms of exercise.

The research involved observing 69 individuals between the ages of 45 and 74. Each participant was diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity or overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle. The individuals were randomly included in one of four groups. Three groups performed exercise programs for eight weeks, and one controlled group did not exercise. All groups were observed for blood pressure and cardiovascular risks, and were broken out as follows: Aerobic exercise only, 60-minute sessions; resistance training only, 60-minute sessions; combined aerobic and resistance training, equal 30-minute sessions of each; and the non-exercising control group.

Researchers found that participants who had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease benefitted from combined training for just an eight-week timeframe compared to the same amount of time dedicated to simply resistance training or aerobic exercise by itself. Both of these forms of fitness are beneficial individually when limiting the risk of cardio disease. Specifically, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and 30 minutes of resistance training, three times every week.

The takeaway from this research? Why put all of your eggs in one basket? Regularly performing a combination of aerobic activity and resistance training in your workout routine is a gift for your heart! PS: Don't skip a beat!

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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