Why should I bother to stay fit?

Strength or endurance: choose the right fitness training

Status: April 13th, 2021 10:00 p.m.

For years, doctors and health insurance companies have been demanding: "More exercise!" But what does the best program look like if you want to stay healthy or tackle certain ailments?

Back pain, diabetes, depression: Doctors denounce the steadily increasing lack of exercise that promotes these and other complaints. "The computer workstation has been a problem for years," says orthopedic surgeon Christian Sturm. According to the campaign for healthy backs (AGR), more than 21 million Germans spend their working day in the office, most of them sitting down.

Basic fitness through exercise in everyday life

"The basis is 10,000 steps," says cardiologist Melanie Hümmelgen. Running the equivalent of about seven kilometers - that alone is a challenge for many today and involves considerable changes in everyday life. But the effort is rewarded with more fitness and more life, explains Hümmelgen: "We now know that every step counts. It's like an account that you pay into. And sufficient exercise in everyday life is the basis for us to be able to train injury-free . " The less you have moved, the higher the risk of injury when you get back on track.

Training plan with the right mix for prevention

Cross-country skiing is one of the healthy cardiovascular sports.

Which sport is recommended in addition to everyday exercise depends on the goals pursued as well as on personal preferences. From a prevention perspective, the motto is: It's all in the mix! In general, sports medicine professionals recommend a combination of strength and endurance. Studies show that there are hardly any differences between the two forms of training with regard to the long-term effect on chronic diseases such as diabetes: the mean blood sugar level drops, the blood lipid values ​​improve. Strength and endurance sports thus have a preventive effect on most chronic diseases.

Endurance sport for the heart and circulation

If there are already complaints, the situation should be assessed differently. "In the case of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or cardiac insufficiency, endurance sports are generally preferable," says Hümmelgen, a movement doctor. "Running, Nordic walking, cycling and swimming are wonderful sports because we can control them so well and overloading the cardiovascular system is very rare." Blood pressure peaks, such as those that can occur during strenuous holding exercises, are undesirable with such previous illnesses. Endurance athletes do not need to use a lot of strength, but have to persevere regularly and over a longer period of time.

advantagesdisadvantage
has a positive effect on the cardiovascular systemSuccesses can be measured, but are not noticeable
increases lung volumehardly any muscle building possible
lowers blood sugar - thanks to the muscle replenishing effect, even on the day after endurance trainingvery intensive endurance training even hinders muscle building (apparently inhibits the energy-sapping protein synthesis in the body)
optimizes the supply of oxygen to the muscles
burns more fat during exercise than weight training
Particularly suitable for switching off due to the uniform movements

Weight training for the bones and the supporting apparatus

To minimize the risk of injury when jogging or cross-country skiing, endurance sports should be combined with vigorous muscle training if possible. With suitable exercises you can also improve the perception and control function (proprioception) of the legs.

You can not only strengthen your muscles through equipment training in the gym - it works great at home too.

Targeted, correctly dosed strength training is also the method of choice for many joint problems - such as osteoarthritis -, for osteoporosis, muscle loss in old age and generally for pain in the musculoskeletal system. "The real pain problem is often a muscular cause," explains movement doc Christian Sturm. The widespread unspecific back pain mostly arises from bad posture, cramps and hardening. This is where stretching and subsequent strengthening of the muscles help. If done correctly, strength training can eliminate and prevent pain because it stabilizes the holding apparatus and thus counteracts incorrect movements or poor posture. But this is also where the crux lies: Incorrectly executed exercises are counterproductive. Intensive strength training therefore always requires good instruction.

advantagesdisadvantage
produces visible results after just a few weeks (muscle growth)Duration of exercise is not enough to train the cardiovascular system
stabilizes the ligament and holding apparatus and thus prevents injuriesintense holding exercises cause blood pressure peaks - bad for the heart
prevents an excessive decrease in bone density
increases the basal metabolic rate in the long term by building muscle mass and thus promotes a healthy weight
lowers blood sugar in the long term by building muscle mass

The optimal way to lose weight

Building muscle helps in weight loss.

Anyone who primarily wants to fight obesity needs a so-called multimodal concept: As a rule, in addition to exercise, a change in diet is unavoidable so that the calorie balance becomes negative. When running at 60 to 70 percent of the maximum pulse rate, the body burns a lot of fat. If you want to melt a kilo of body fat, which contains the equivalent of 7,000 calories, you would have to run for around 20 hours. In relation to the time required, strength training helps you lose weight better than endurance training, because the muscle mass created pays off for the beach figure in the long term due to its higher basal metabolic rate (energy consumption at rest). Only those who want to lose weight have to be patient, as the muscle gain is more likely to be reflected on the scales with a few kilos more at the beginning.

Exercises That Really Help

To participate and imitate: The best exercise strategies for a wide range of diseases can be found here summarized and explained in short videos. more

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The Movement Docs | 03/08/2021 | 9:00 p.m.