Hello My Friends
Welcome to The Vitality Project!
Many times I have been previously asked if training with weights is an important component of an exercise program.
So may people I have spoken to have the understanding that as long as you perform cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis, this is really all that is required to attain and maintain long-term health.
Not So Fast!
Sure, cardio is extremely important but the concept in exercise science known as “training specificity” prevails in every instance I can think of.
This implies that your body will adapt specifically to the type and nature of exercise stimulus you perform. In essence…you get what you give and the results your body experiences from exercise will repeatedly demonstrate this concept.
So if you want a strong heart and cardiovascular/pulmonary system…perform a comprehensive cardio. program on a regular basis…if you want to increase flexibility, perform activities that stimulate changes in muscle length and lastly, if you would like to be stronger, have bigger muscles and increased bone mass….perform resistance training.
Now, of course….depending upon the activity you select, some or all of the above are at least, partially achievable.
What about the concept of longevity….what form of exercise is the better choice at attaining a longer life?
There has been a great deal of research that has evaluated this question so the arguing can stop! I say arguing, because this question has been a very hotly contested one for many years between the gym rats, the road beaters and the cardio-addicts.
Here therein lies the real answer to this question!
According to previous research findings, including a newly published report from the University of Australia in Sydney, performing resistance exercise may be just as effective at reducing the risk of chronic disease and maintaining higher levels of health as cardiovascular exercise!
Health information was taken from a population sample of 80,306 adults aged 30 years and over. This data from Health Surveys conducted in England and Scotland in addition to with statistical information from the NHS Central Mortality Register.
The research results from the subjects was also adjusted for other variables, including age, biological sex, overall health condition, educational levels, and lifestyle-related behaviors. In addition, any subjects who were previously diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, or those who died within the first 2 years of the study were excluded from the final analysis.
The results of this study indicated that the study subjects who performed resistance exercises experienced a 23 percent lower risk of death by all causes, and a 31 percent lower risk of cancer-related death!
These are typically the types of health changes expected and seen in folks who perform cardiovascular activities on a regular basis!
Do you have to join a gym to experience these benefits?
No…performing sit-ups, ball crunches, push-ups, wall squats and a series of circuit exercises using a dumbell set with weights from 2-10 Lbs. is all that is required. Elastic bands, floor mats, a simple adjustable weight bench and swiss balls are all you need!
Another awesome exercise which targets your cardiovascular system and the muscles of your spine, pelvis, legs, core and parts of your upper body is stair-climbing.
Outdoor stairs or inside buildings (depending upon their safety) are excellent choices.
Good Luck…but perform both for the best results!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project