A study was published October 2010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research evaluated the impact of resistance training compared to aerobic training on arterial blood flow.

It’s been speculated that changes in arterial distensibility (the elasticity of your blood vessels) may be related to exercise-induced difference in vasodilatory capacity, which the ability of blood vessels to dilate.

The Study

The purpose of this recent study was to investigate the vasodilatory and arterial distensibility (AD) responses to acute aerobic exercise and resistance exercise.

The study focused on 10 healthy men with an average age of 25 years-old. Forearm blood flow during reactive hyperemia was assessed before and after 60 minutes of exercise.

Aortic and femoral pulse wave velocity was also measured to assess arterial stiffness pre-workout, 40 minutes post, and 60 minutes post an acute phase of aerobic exercise (30 minute cycling) and resistance exercise (3 sets of 10 reps for upper and lower body).

The Results

Researchers found arterial stiffness to decrease with aerobic exercise, but blood flow to limbs did not increase. With resistance training blood flow to limbs was increased, but there was also a slight increase in arterial stiffness. Resistance training did result in a longer blood pressure drop following exercise when compared with aerobic exercise.

Researchers concluded that changes in arterial distensibility are not associated with changes in vasodilatory capacity after acute exercise. When comparing resistance exercise to aerobic exercise, resistance exercise has a greater impact on blood flow and reduced blood pressure post exercise.

The Take Away

When working to achieve heart health, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, and lower blood pressure it’s essential to use a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises to achieve optimal health results. Both forms of exercise have distinct benefits that impact the heart and vascular system.

Author's Bio: 

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