Weight Training is Hard On Arteries

June 28, 1999

A new study says weight training can result in stiffer arteries. This is something that happens as we age, but it's the first time I've seen this condition resulting from weight training.

What happens is pulse pressure increases because the arteries don't expand. The clinical significance of the study isn't well defined, the researchers say in the publication Hypertension.

The stiffer arteries don't occur if aerobic exercises are added to the training program, so it could have something to do with the repetitive nature of weight lifting.

I don't think our muscles were meant to pump iron in a constant up and down motion. Stiffer arteries could have something to do with the rigid positions strength training requires.

This study could be another good reason to just hang out on the sofa or do tai chi chuan.

Source: Hypertension, June 1999.