As the sun rises each morning, countless individuals lace up their shoes, grab their bikes, or dive into pools for their favorite form of exercise. What drives fitness enthusiasts to keep going? The answer may lie in the five top benefits of endurance training.
Endurance training provides remarkable metabolic enhancements, making it an excellent addition to your fitness regimen. Engaging in regular endurance activities boosts your metabolism, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Endurance training also improves insulin sensitivity. Studies have shown that endurance training can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases because of its improvements to insulin sensitivity in the body. These metabolic benefits might be reason enough for many to take up endurance training!
Muscle Strength and Endurance
Contrary to popular belief, endurance training is not just for cardiovascular health; it also offers muscular benefits. Continuous workouts, like running or cycling, help develop lean muscles that support your body, ensuring better overall fitness.
Endurance training increases muscular strength while reducing fatigue, allowing your muscles to perform longer without tiring. This benefits your athletic performance and gets you through hectic days as a parent or homeowner. Endurance training can help get you through it all if you’ve got kids or pets to chase after, home repairs to perform, grocery shopping to do, and two flights of stairs to take to and from the laundry room.
Less Painful Joints
Active people are less likely to suffer the most painful effects of cartilage loss due to osteoarthritis. Our joints have a “use it or lose it” policy, so you’ll need to move often, if you want to keep your joints healthy and lubricated.
Adding high-intensity interval training to your endurance training routine provides recovery time while maintaining your fitness level, reducing the risk of overuse and injuries that can happen in endurance sports.
Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
The heart-pumping benefits of endurance training are indisputable. Regular endurance exercises strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This workout style has also been proven to lower blood pressure levels, supporting overall cardiovascular health.
Who doesn’t crave a good night’s sleep? Engaging in regular endurance activities helps regulate the body’s sleep patterns, contributing to better and more restful slumber. Endurance training also relieves stress, further promoting peaceful sleep.
Finally, endurance training brings a multitude of mental and emotional benefits. If you’re training for your first triathlon, the finish is as much about mental toughness as it is about physical endurance. Activities that test your stamina have been linked to improved cognitive function and focus.
Better Mood and Memory
Exercising releases endorphins, creating a sense of happiness and well-being (the “runner’s high”) and reducing feelings of anxiety and depression. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, positively effecting your memory retention and recall.
There’s no denying that incorporating the benefits of endurance training into your active lifestyle brings a host of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. You’ll feel better, sleep better, look better, and move better by staying active.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.