From this article Weight Training Has Unique Heart Benefits, Study Suggests:
“An acute bout of resistance exercise shows many favorable cardiovascular benefits and should therefore be considered as part of a daily exercise training program".
When compared to aerobic training resistance training resulted in increased blood flow to the limbs and a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure after exercise.
"Resistance exercise may offer greater benefits from the increases in blood flow to active muscles and could be implemented as companion to an aerobic training regimen, according to the new study".
Especially because of its ability to increase blood flow to active muscles, weight training could be a valuable companion to an aerobic training regimen. "This may be of greatest importance to women, as they can derive important weight-bearing benefits of resistance training to help prevent and/or treat osteoporosis,"
After strength training I find my blood pressure remains significantly lower for several hours. Presently my blood pressure is 128/72 four hours after exercise. The trouble is I can't do strength training every day and adequately recover from the stress to the muscles.
In place of the strength training I do high intensity sprints on a recumbent bike. With high intensity sprints you will activate your fast-twitch muscle associated with strength training, but you will not have the accompanying micro-trauma to the muscles that takes days to recover from. With the sprints you will tax your cardiovascular system and get your heart rate nears it maximum.
I have been doing the sprints for about four months three or four times a week along with the strength training. My doctor has taken me off one blood pressure medication and has cut back on the other. I have been taking BP meds for 33 years this is the lowest dosage I have been on in decades. I keep expecting to have my BP trend upwards but it hasn't. I will continue the training.
At Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Fitness Trainers we can help you gradually build up to a high intensity strength training or sprint training program that is safe, effective, and efficient for your age and condition. You need not spend hours in the gym to feel better, look better, and perform better.