Exercise is unparalleled for its ability to improve cardiovascular health, quality of life, and overall longevity. The question of how much, how long, and how hard comes up often. We are of the mind set that intensity in exercise isn’t all that it’s cracked out to be.
Don’t get me wrong. There is still a time and place for intensity and volume. These are also what most people “dial up” when wanting to get results quickly. Let me be the first to tell you: it’s unsustainable in the long term.
“Everything in moderation” still applies, especially here. The golden rule is that you have to be able to properly recover from the intensity, otherwise this is where injuries (as well as frustration, mental fatigue, and a host of other issues) can occur.
If you have specific training goals, with a specific timeline, working with a coach can help you recognize WHEN to push the throttle and when to ease up just a bit.
However, there is a point at which performance and health diverge and that point is unique for everyone. We all tend to come to this conclusion at one point or another in our fitness. For a lot of us, this realization can come after having children… For others, it can be an event that reminds us of the value, brevity, and fragility of health.
This is when we realize we want to be here for the LONG game. Consistency then becomes a priority.
Consistency allows the body’s systems to find a steady rhythm to make adaptations. It’s progressive and can easily be built upon by gradually increasing the prescription over time.
We go back to the basics.
We become excellent at simple movements.
We build upon our ability to perform more complex movements, while also preventing injury.
But remember…exercise is not the only factor that contributes to longevity.
Relative physical capacity to your everyday life activities is important, but high end performance based training is not necessarily indicative of a longer, or even a balanced life.
We will say, though, that athletes that prioritize performance tend to adopt other practices that lead to a more resilient body and a longer, healthier life. Things such as: diet, sleep, and stress management. If we were to recommend you adopt any practices that high end athletes adopt, it would be this combination AS WELL as exercise.
Remember, exercise is just one piece of the puzzle to long, healthy life. The goal is that you are able to integrate consistent movement, as well as pay attention to the other areas in your life that will bring about holistic health.