What Happens To Your Heart When You Lift Weights Every Day

It's no secret that exercise is good for your heart. According to Harvard Health, even one exercise session can offer immediate and long-lasting benefits. One effect that exercise has on the heart is called ischemia, which refers to an inadequate blood supply to the muscle for a short period of time. While ongoing ischemia is not healthy, short bursts of this phenomenon actually strengthen your heart in the long run.

"The idea is that when you have a coronary blockage and you exercise, the area of heart beyond the blockage is starved for blood supply — more so than when you're at rest," said Dr. Meagan Wasfy, cardiologist of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. "That sets up a number of molecular and metabolic pathways that help the heart adapt to that inadequate blood flow."

Every time you work out, your heart becomes a little more resilient. This effect happens from any type of workout, whether it's cardio or strength training. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, multiple types of exercise are needed for complete fitness.

How strength training reduces your risk of heart disease

You may not correlate weightlifting with heart disease, but the two have a strong connection. According to a 2018 study conducted by Iowa State University, lifting weights for a small period of time each week can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (via Science Daily). Specifically, they found that lifting weights for less than an hour each week can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke by 40 to 70%. Using the same dataset, the study leaders also found that lifting weights for less than an hour each week can reduce your risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 29%. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Although strength training is extremely beneficial for your heart, it can be a difficult practice to implement into your daily or weekly routine. While you can slip on some tennis shoes and go for a run anywhere, weightlifting requires weights and often a gym membership. While investing in a gym membership is often worth the rewards if you can swing it, you can still get many of the benefits of strength training from bodyweight exercises like pushups and squats (via Washington Post).