If you have the time, taking on 100-mile ultramarathons and double Ironman-distance triathlons will put you in the prestigious category of a strong and brave superhuman. Regular mortals, who don’t have too much spare time, lean towards other tough endurance events to test their limits.
Being among the elites is not the only reason why endurance training is something you absolutely should add to your workout programs.
Here are the reasons you should add it to your weekly schedule, according to Ivy Karlinsky, personal trainer at Transform 180 Training.
The mind and body are closely connected; pushing ourselves physically pushes our mind to become stronger as well. Physical endurance helps build mental toughness and resilience which can have positive impacts on every area of our lives, not just fitness.
Studies have found that exercise creates vibrant new brain cells. Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function.
Better overall health
Endurance training improves not only your cardiovascular system, but also muscles, bones, joints and lungs. Sustained exercise can also reduce your risk of many chronic diseases.
The American Council on Exercise calls walking uphill, the best combination of aerobic activity to burn fat and anaerobic activity to shape muscles.
The mental benefits of endurance training go past just mental strength, but can bring you better memory and improved circulation.
Don’t just think about how your body will change if you decide to skip one workout or several weeks of training. Your brain will be negatively affected as well, according to a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.
Endurance training can help with sleep quality. High intensity and long duration exercise have been shown to make it easier to fall asleep.
Sleep deprivation affects your overall health more severely than simply feeling grumpy in the mornings; you gain weight, your learning and problem-solving abilities suffer, you have trouble forming memories, and you’re at risk of developing depression, paranoia, and even suicidal thoughts.
All forms of exercise give you better energy but endurance activity will train your body to preserve energy and make your daily tasks seem much easier.
Fight the post-lunch sluggishness that takes over in the afternoon and makes people susceptible to ignoring the onslaught of incoming emails and other work that needs to be done before the end of the day.
Endurance training, whether cardio or weight based can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, helping you stay healthy so you can keep up with all your workouts and feel your best.
Fuel your body with foods that will give it the right ingredients to build antibodies so you can figh infections quicker and get sick less often.
Burn more fat
Longer endurance training allows you to burn through your glycogen stores and dip into fat storage to burn more fat and aid in weight loss.
HIIT is such a big hit because it's the quickest way to burn the most amount of calories you can in a short amount of time.