Many of us know that endurance strength training has a positive impact on our health, but we may not know why that is, and why weight training and resistance exercise can help us live longer. There are several ways that endurance strength training contributes to longevity in both men and women. Knowing more about how particular fitness training can extend our quality of life helps individuals make good decisions about their training routines.
Overall Fitness and Longevity
The most general principle of resistance training for longevity comes down to a short but sweet slogan: "Use it or lose it." The application of this idea involves looking at how the human body is designed. It's designed for action. Bones, joints and muscles need to be used, or over time, they will atrophy. When you practice endurance training, bones respond to challenges and increase their resistance to fracturing. The muscles around joints build up to protect critical parts of the body like hips, knees and ankles. Muscle groups get tougher and stronger, rather than withering away.
Weight Training and Cardio Work
Those with a particular focus on cardiology health know that it's best to get your heart rate up over a certain target threshold for a long period of time, such as 10 to 15 minutes or more. Some types of weight training may not elevate your heart rate up to the rates that running or aerobic activity might, but your heart rate will still be elevated to a certain extent, and this is good for you. Any kind of exercise that elevates the heart rate at all is good for longevity over time.
As people get older, their bones become brittle and more likely to develop fractures. This is particularly true for women, where a common condition called osteoporosis starts to work on bone structures in old age. Those that have been conditioned to respond to pressures and weight loads will have a huge benefit over others as the body ages.
The Body's Metabolism
Endurance and weight training also fire up the metabolism, which affects the way the body uses and stores nutrition. Keeping the metabolism working generally promotes quality of life and longevity for aging individuals. Trainers and fitness experts can come up with great colorful metaphors for explaining how the metabolism works, but the end result is always the same: intense physical activity aids the processes that conduct much of how the body works, and our bodies almost always respond well to training that is designed for our individual needs.
Some new medical studies contend that endurance training actually promotes longevity at a cellular level. There is much more to learn about how a good fitness routine can help the body stay stronger over time, but for now, most trainers and coaches would point to all of the above as demonstrating that keeping up fitness habits can yield great results later in life. Think about how to design the fitness schedule that works best for you to benefit from some significant health boosts that go along with a good workout routine.