Medscape: A randomized trial suggests resistance exercise promotes better sleep than other workouts among inactive adults, particularly those who are poor sleepers.

“We thought resistance exercise would be somewhere in the same neighborhood as aerobic exercise or that maybe combined exercise would be a little bit better but, no, it was consistently resistance exercise, on its own, that seemed to show the most benefits across the board,” Angelique Brellenthin, PhD, told | Medscape Cardiology.

The results were presented at the recent Epidemiology, Prevention/Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health (EPI|Lifestyle) 2022 conference sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA).

Even before the pandemic and bedtime “doom scrolling” took hold, research showed that a third of Americans regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep. The AHA recommends aerobic exercise to improve sleep and promote cardiovascular health, yet little is known on how it compares with other types of exercise in the general population, she said.

Brellenthin and coinvestigator Duck-chul Lee, PhD, both of Iowa State University in Ames, recruited 406 inactive adults, aged 35 to 70 years, who were obese or overweight (mean body mass index, 31.2 kg/m2) and had elevated or stage 1 hypertension and randomly assigned them to no exercise or 60 minutes of supervised aerobic, resistance, or combination exercise three times per week for 12 months.

The aerobic exercise group could choose among treadmills, upright or recumbent bikes, and ellipticals, and had their heart rate monitored to ensure they were continuously getting a moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise.

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