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Pumping iron improves heart health

If you have cardiovascular disease, lifting weights—or pumping iron—is no longer a banned activity. Weight lifting can provide you with multiple benefits if you work out within guidelines, says an updated American Heart Association (AHA) statement. When undertaking a resistance training program, the AHA recommends you:

  • Perform exercises rhythmically at a slow to moderate speed.
  • Exhale during the exertion of lifting and inhale during relaxation instead of holding your breath and straining.
  • Alternate between upper- and lower-body training.
  • See your doctor before beginning a weight–training program.