Benefits of Endurance Training

Training for endurance requires a very tough mind set.  It requires pushing past what’s comfortable in order to sustain longer periods of activity, ultimately building muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.  On completing an endurance event or training, you will experience a real sense of accomplishment you don’t generally get anywhere else.  And, you have a great connection with other people who have gone through it with you.

  1. Feeling of Accomplishment:  When you make it through a tough training session or do something that not many other people can do, you feel an overwhelming sense of achievement.  It’s tough, and at times you will want to give up, but this feeling will make you want to do it all over again.
  2. Improves Mental Strength:  Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body ever does.  It builds character, being able to say I want to quit, but I won’t, and forcing yourself to fight through the pain can make you a very hard person to beat in all other areas of your life too.  You will gain an incredible will to be successful, whether that’s winning or simply finishing is up to you.
  3. Great for Your Health:  Your health has to be priority number one, and being able to complete endurance training will put you very high on the health charts.  This will mean less chance of developing illnesses, and a longer life expectancy for you.  Your cardiovascular system will be in excellent shape, which will have a positive impact on your day-to-day life.  Exercise improves the overall physical performance of your body in sports, everyday work, normal routines, as well as offering the advantage of aesthetics.  As you continue to train, your muscle mass will increase, and you will notice significant improvement in your balance and coordination.  Not to mention, you will feel the obvious anti-aging effects of endurance training.
  4. You Won’t Be Taking It Easy:  If you are competing in endurance events, whether that’s age groups or open competition, you will automatically have less people to beat than other sports because the process weeds out the weak.  The commitment to training for such an event will discourage many others from even attempting it.
  5. Change For The Better:  Other people may be able to juggle going out on the weekends and hitting the gym the next day or playing some sport after work when they haven’t eaten a lot all day.  If you’re performing an endurance sport, you’ll not be able to do those things half-hearted.  Being dehydrated from not drinking enough, or being under-fueled nutritionally from not eating enough will have a dramatic effect on your training and competition, and so it will force you to be prepared, plan ahead, and sacrifice.  It will make you a much more dedicated person.
  6. You Will Build Muscle:  The assumption is that endurance requires the use of slow twitch muscle fibers.  However, according to recent studies, your body will first recruit slow-twitch fibers and, once they are fatigued, it will recruit your fast twitch fibers to help.  This is why soccer players build huge calf muscles and cyclists have quads big enough to rival some bodybuilders, so if you’re thinking that endurance sport will take all of your gains away, then you need not worry.  Not only will you gain muscle, but you will also get much stronger by building your muscular endurance by expanding on its ability to work hard for longer.
  7. Growth In Bone Density:  Have you ever read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography?  He had a known bone deficiency, so he built up his muscle mass to help his bones grow and develop.  By choosing diet and exercise to improve your health, you give your bones extra support and increase their density.  This, in turn, helps prevent osteoporosis.  If osteoporosis is dominant in your family history, you may want to consider taking this up.  As you train, your body releases spikes of growth hormone into your bloodstream – allowing your bones to construct better density.  As you grow older, your bone density decreases and weakens, and a seemingly harmless slip can turn into a serious fracture.  Keeping a solid training routine will facilitate looking young and feeling young.
  8. Enhanced Immune System:  No matter how strong you are, you can always fall defenseless against the multitude of viruses that attack our immune system by the thousands every year.  Endurance training enhances your immune system by creating extra proteins necessary for production of white blood cells and antibodies.  The anti-inflammatory effects of training are evident for those with chronic inflammatory disease.  This is also noticeable in muscle soreness after training – as your body gets used to training, the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will decrease over time.
  9. Diabetic Benefits:  Preventing and controlling diabetes is also possible with training because it improves the body’s insulin sensitivity.  Our body stores glucose in the muscles, and, by increasing your muscle mass, you also gain extra glucose storage.  This will assist your body to keep glucose levels at a safe count.
  10. Enhanced Metabolism:  We grow bigger as we grow older due to the decrease in metabolic processes.  As a result, our body is able to burn fewer overall calories which stay with us in the form of round bellies.  Training can really help this problem by the addition of muscle mass.  As your muscle mass increases, it burns extra calories by producing the necessary acids to break down and expend the calories you consume.  For every pound of lean muscle you gain, your body expends 70 calories more per day.
  11. Lifestyle Benefits:  Because exercise increases blood circulation, it also delivers more oxygen to your brain, keeping your sanity in check and your body functional.  It helps the body release stress, allows you to think clearly, and increases reaction times.  Cortisol, better known as the “stress hormone,” is neutralized during exercise, which can help out greatly with our sanity.  As you exercise regularly, you find yourself able to fall asleep faster, stay asleep throughout the night, increase the quality of your slumber, and feel more refreshed in the morning.  On the plus side, all of us know that having a positive personal image will improve your self-esteem and confidence.
  12. Challenging:  It will also provide you with a challenge, and challenges keep things interesting.  There is nothing less motivating than the same boring stuff with the same results.  If you find a passion for an endurance event, you really can commit to it and find out your physical capabilities.