We all know that exercise is good for us. Even a light routine can work wonders, whether or not you’re trying to shed pounds. But if you want the absolute best results, train like an athlete. Obviously, any exercise is better than no exercise. Compared to active people, a sedentary person is 4.5 times more likely to die from an early death.
Moderate physical activity has profound benefits.1 So why train like an athlete? It’s all about the mindset. Establishing discipline and routines will make exercise a regular part of your life. No matter how old you are, adopting the athlete mentality will offer these three benefits.
Benefits Of Training Like An Athlete
1. Athletic Training Increases Life Expectancy
Every year, 610,000 people die of heart-related problems. That’s 1 in every 4 people!
Longevity doesn’t depend on a magic potion or secret trick. It’s about taking
With such high death rates, heart disease is no joke. However, training like an athlete will give you the upper hand. Exercise is one of the best ways to protect the heart. It controls weight and decreases blood pressure, so your heart won’t have to work so hard. Regular activity also reduces “bad” LDL and total cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol.4
Moderate exercise has a profound effect, so imagine what training like an athlete can do? It’s never too
2. Athletic Training Increases Movement
Bones help us move around. If they aren’t in good shape, everyday tasks will be difficult. Cooking, carrying groceries, and cleaning are just a
Over 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, while another 44 million have low bone density. It’s more common in women, especially after menopause. One in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will break a bone – because of osteoporosis – at some point in their life.7 By training like an athlete, you can avoid being one of those people. Regular strength-training is key. It re-balances osteoclasts and osteoblasts, two bone cells needed for bone formation. This can prevent osteoporosis before it even starts.8
If you already have osteoporosis, there’s still hope. Exercise is a major part of management – regardless of how old you are. In fact, when combined with calcium and vitamin D supplementation, exercise lowers the risk
3. Athletic Training Increases Power
Muscle is also needed for everyday independence. Most importantly, it prevents the risk of falling. Even if you do slip, muscle strength will reduce the chances of getting hurt.10 It’s the best way to avoid injuries that can lead to life-altering disability. If you trip and fall, is your body prepared? By training like an
Again, it’s about strength training workouts. These exercises will improve balance, coordination, mobility while building strength. It’ll help your bones and muscle, providing extra protection against falls. For example, The Journals of Gerontology shares that peak muscle power is closely linked to the independence of elderly women. Leg power has the strongest impact.11 It’s a pretty good reason to do a few extra reps.
This doesn’t mean you need to become a bodybuilder, though. The CDC recommends strength training at least twice a week.12 Aiming for athlete-level status will have even more benefits.
If you’re just starting out, go
|↑1, ↑4||Myers, Jonathan. “Exercise and cardiovascular health.” Circulation 107, no. 1 (2003): e2-e5.|
|↑2||The top 10 causes of death. World Health Organization.|
|↑3||Heart Disease Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑5||de Oliveira Sarmento, Adriana, Amilton da Cruz Santos, Ivani Credidio Trombetta, Marciano Moacir Dantas, Ana Cristina Oliveira Marques, Leone Severino do Nascimento, Bruno Teixeira Barbosa et al. “regular physical exercise improves cardiac autonomic and muscle vasodilatory responses to isometric exercise in healthy elderly.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 12 (2017): 1021.|
|↑6||Schuit, Albertine J., L. G. Van Amelsvoort, Ton C. Verheij, Rob D. Rijneke, ARIE C. Maan, Cees A. Swenne, and Evert G. Schouten. “Exercise training and heart rate variability in older people.” Medicine and science in sports and exercise 31, no. 6 (1999): 816-821.|
|↑7||Facts About Osteoporosis. National Osteoporosis Foundation.|
|↑8||Ivanova, S., and L. Vasileva. “Current and emerging strategies in osteoporosis management.” Current pharmaceutical design (2017).|
|↑9||Xue, Y., Y. Hu, O. Wang, C. Wang, G. Han, Q. Shen, H. Deng et al. “Effects of Enhanced Exercise and Combined Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Muscle Strength and Fracture Risk in Postmenopausal Chinese Women.” Chinese medical sciences journal= Chung-kuo i hsueh k’o hsueh tsa chih 39, no. 3 (2017): 345.|
|↑10||Trudelle-Jackson, Elaine J., Allen W. Jackson, and James R. Morrow Jr. “Muscle strength and postural stability in healthy, older women: implications for fall prevention.” Journal of Physical Activity and Health 3, no. 3 (2006): 292-303.|
|↑11||Foldvari, Mona, Maureen Clark, Lori C. Laviolette, Melissa A. Bernstein, David Kaliton, Carmen Castaneda, Charles T. Pu, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Roger A. Fielding, and Maria A. Fiatarone Singh. “Association of muscle power with functional status in community-dwelling elderly women.” The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 55, no. 4 (2000): M192-M199.|
|↑12||Growing Stronger: Strength Training For Older Adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|