By: Dr. Beth Templin
Last month's feature topic was strengthening. While I firmly believe that strength training is an essential part of maintaining your independence as you age, new research is coming out to support endurance training as having anti-aging effects.
In a recent study published in European Heart Journal, researchers found that endurance training slowed or even reversed cellular aging, but that strength training did not. What does that mean?
Our biological age, or how old the cells in our body are, can be determined by monitoring different markers in our blood.
During this study, people who participated in endurance activities such as running, swimming or cycling were able to boost the markers that were correlated to aging slower.
When they tested these same markers in the strength training only group, they did not have increases in these same areas.
So does this mean you should only work on your endurance and not your strength? Absolutely not. The best programs will have a combination of both.
The people in this study participated in aerobic activity for 45 minutes 3 days a week in order to achieve these results.
To some of you, who may have trouble walking through the grocery store without having to stop and lean on the cart to catch your breath, that may seem impossible.
If 45 minutes is too much for you to handle at once, you can always start by breaking it up into shorter bouts and then build up to that slowly.
Even if you start with 4-5 minute bouts 2-3 times a day, that starts to add up. Soon you'll be able to increase your times to reach that 45-minute goal.
Wouldn't it be nice to go on vacation and walk on all of the excursions with your family without having to worry about getting too tired? Imagine being able to walk around the zoo this summer without having to stop and sit down to rest every few minutes.
As you can see, there are many other benefits to improving your endurance besides slowing down the aging process.
Not sure how to start? Or wanting some additional guidance to help you meet your goals? We offer an Annual Check-up to assess your current fitness levels and help determine what the weakest areas are.
Based on your goals, we can help to design a program that's right for you or help to determine which of our Group Classes may be the best fit for you.