Research: Strength Training as Important as Aerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise has all sorts of benefits, including how a pound of muscle burns much more than a pound of fat does, even while someone is at rest. The article mentions sit-ups, but I think sit-ups are an inferior exercise to crunches and even planking. Pushups and pull-ups are easily some of the best forms of anaerobic exercise though, and in my experience, compound exercises (those using multiple muscle groups, such as pushups) are generally better than isolated exercises (those using a single muscle group, such as bicep curls). Rest days are also quite important in strength training, as it requires time for the muscle that’s been worked out to rebuild and return stronger. And as always, mentality is vital.

I rarely give that sort of advice, but perhaps someone will benefit a lot from it. Only using aerobic exercise is suboptimal when anaerobic exercise is available, even if someone doesn’t have a desire to be significantly muscular.

In sum here though, a stronger physical form and a stronger mind — there’s a real possible connection there.

The largest study to compare the mortality outcomes of different types of exercise found people who did strength-based exercise had a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death by any means, and a 31 percent reduction in cancer-related death.

Lead author Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the School of Public Health and the Charles Perkins Centre said while strength training has been given some attention for functional benefits as we age, little research has looked at its impact on mortality.

“The study shows exercise that promotes muscular strength may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Associate Professor Stamatakis.