Resistance Training Trims Cardiovascular Disease in Overweight African American Women

March 28, 2012

A walking plus resistance training (WRT) intervention is more effective than walking for improving several body composition measures and glucose control in overweight and obese African American women.

A walking plus resistance training (WRT) intervention is more effective than walking for improving several body composition measures and glucose control in overweight and obese African American women. WRT may be an important addition to a lifestyle intervention aimed at reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors in these patients.

Hornbuckle and colleagues measured body composition; blood pressure; and levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen before and after a 12-week exercise intervention in patients randomly assigned to a WRT or walking group. Both groups were asked to increase pedometer-measured walking to 10,000 or more steps per day; the WRT group also was asked to perform supervised resistance training 2 days per week.

WRT significantly increased both upper and lower body strength and significantly decreased waist circumference and total fat mass compared with walking. WRT also significantly decreased pre- to post-intervention body fat, HbA1c level, and mean glucose level calculated from HbA1c; no changes were seen with walking. Blood pressure and levels of HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and CRP were not affected by either intervention.