Endurance exercise and resistance training in cardiovascular disease

Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis. 2008 Apr;2(2):115-21. doi: 10.1177/1753944708089701.


Contrary to the age old taboo of exercise in cardiac patients, resistance training has been gaining importance recently as a safe, healthy fitness option in prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the leading killer disease in the population above 45 years in the United States. Endurance or aerobic exercise helps improve overall stamina and the ability of the heart to pump oxygenated blood in those with and without prior cardiovascular disease. In addition to modifying cardiovascular risks, resistance training has profound beneficial effects on improving muscle strength and endurance, preventing osteoporosis and improving quality of life both in the healthy and cardiovascular patients including women and heart failure patients. So resistance training should be regarded as a complementary fitness program rather that a substitute to endurance training. This review discusses the physiological phenomenon and benefits of exercise training programs on cardiovascular disease patients focusing on endurance exercise and resistance training.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Physical Endurance*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior