Combined Aerobic and Resistance Training Effects on Glucose Homeostasis, Fitness, and Other Major Health Indices: A Review of Current Guidelines

Abstract

The combination of aerobic and resistance training (AER + RES) is recommended by almost every major organization to improve health-related risk factors associated with sedentary behavior. Since the release of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008, several large well-controlled trials and ancillary reports have been published that provide further insight into the effects of AER + RES on health-related outcomes. The current manuscript examines the literature on the effects of AER + RES on major clinical outcomes, including glucose homeostasis, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and muscular strength, as well as other important clinical outcomes, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and quality of life. Collectively, research suggests that AER + RES and AER or RES alone improves glycemic control and insulin sensitivity compared with continued sedentary behavior. Significant changes in CRF are also observed, suggesting a reduction in cardiovascular disease-related mortality risk. Reduced adiposity, especially abdominal adiposity, and increased strength may also interact with CRF to promote additional health benefits associated with AER + RES. While findings from our review support current physical activity guidelines, a paucity of research limits the generalizability of the results.

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Author Contributions

Neil Johannsen, Timothy Church, Damon Swift, Carl Lavie, Steven Blair and Conrad Earnest contributed to the review’s concept and design, drafted the manuscript, contributed critical revisions of the manuscript for important intellectual content, and reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Neil M. Johannsen.

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Neil Johannsen, Damon Swift, Carl Lavie, Conrad Earnest, Steven Blair and Timothy Church declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Johannsen, N.M., Swift, D.L., Lavie, C.J. et al. Combined Aerobic and Resistance Training Effects on Glucose Homeostasis, Fitness, and Other Major Health Indices: A Review of Current Guidelines. Sports Med 46, 1809–1818 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0548-3

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Keywords

  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Functional Fitness
  • Moderate Dyslipidemia
  • Dare Study
  • Ancillary Report