It seems that doing resistance exercises like lifting weights is much healthier for our sleep than the cardio of a lifetime.
In general, when we exercise and are tired, it is quite easy to fall asleep, which contributes to the recovery of muscles throughout our body. However, now a new study claims that performing resistance exercises helps you sleep better than if, for example, you do only aerobic exercises.
Specifically, in a new study published by the Iowa State University and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, explains that participants completed 60 minutes of resistance exercise three times a week for a year, and ended up sleeping better than participants who did aerobic exercises like cardio.
“Our study shows that resistance exercise goes beyond the benefits you would see from these other types of exercise in terms of sleep quality”, he points out Angelique Brellenthinassistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.
“If people are concerned about their sleep and have a limited amount of time to exercise, they may want to consider prioritizing resistance training“, Add.
For the study, researchers randomly assigned more than 400 adult participants to different exercise groups: a resistance-only group, an aerobics-only group and a combined exercise group.
Those in the resistance-only group completed three sets on 12 machines that targeted all major muscle groups, including bicep curls, sit-ups, leg extensions and tricep dips.
Regarding the aerobic exercise group, they only walked or walked on a treadmill or opted for elliptical machines or stationary bicycles.
Finally there was a third group with combined exercises that completed 30 minutes of cardio, followed by another 30 minutes of resistance training.
After the exercises the participants completed a detailed sleep questionnaireand the researchers found that more than 1/3 of all participants reported poor-quality sleep at the start of the study.
For the 42% of participants who weren’t getting at least 7 hours of sleep at the start of the study, on the other hand, their sleep duration increased by about 40 minutes in the resistance-only group compared to an average increase of just 18 minutes in the other groups.
Also the participants in the resistance exercise only group reported falling asleep an average of three minutes faster at the end of these 12 months. Regarding the rest of the two groups, they did not notice any notable changes.
Finally, sleep efficiency increased for participants in the resistance exercise and combined exercise groups, but not in the aerobic exercise group.
In this way, if you have difficulty falling asleep, perhaps you should prioritize in the gym those exercises aimed at resistance and not so much cardio.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism