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Direct comparison: endurance or strength training: what makes us younger?


Jungbrunnen Sport: What slows down the aging process the most
Numerous studies have shown that sport can keep you fit and healthy into old age. Sports like jogging or cycling can slow down the aging process. In this regard, endurance sprint is clearly superior to strength training, as a new study shows.

Seniors are much fitter today than they used to be
On average, seniors are more fit than ever before. A major reason for this is that it has become popular among older people to exercise regularly. Studies show that physical fitness keeps the heart and brain young. Exercise is a way to stay younger than you are. Endurance sports are obviously better for this than strength training. This is shown by a new study by German scientists.

Endurance sports slow down the aging process
According to a press release from the German Heart Foundation, people who moderate regular endurance sports such as jogging slow down the aging process of cells and organisms and thus better protect themselves against cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, heart failure and other age-related diseases such as diabetes.

Better than pure strength training
The cardiologist Dr. Christian Werner and colleagues from the Saarland University Hospital in Homburg / Saar have shown for the first time in a study that moderate endurance sports and high-intensity interval training are superior to pure strength training in this regard. “The study provides an important measurement method for precisely determining how effectively a special form of training affects cell aging and thus increases protection against cardiovascular diseases. A big win for the prevention of heart diseases ”, says Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Meinertz, CEO of the German Heart Foundation.

Protection against cardiovascular diseases
According to the experts, age is the main risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. “Moderate and regular endurance movement slows down the aging process of the cells in the vascular system and thus increases protection against cardiovascular diseases. Jogging and interval training are apparently clearly superior to strength training. However, all forms of training improve physical fitness, ”explained Dr. Werner.

As stated in the communication, the activation of the enzyme telomerase by endurance training and the increase in telomer-preserving and protective proteins (TRF2, POT1, Ku70) in the blood cells of the test subjects is decisive for the finding. Telomeres are single-stranded ends of the genetic material carriers (chromosomes) in the cells that protect the genetic information. Telomerase counteracts the shortening of telomeres as a result of cell division during aging by preventing the shortening or even causing an elongation.

Increased telomerase activity
The training study showed the increased telomerase activity in moderate endurance training, intensive interval training, but not in intensive strength training. Of 124 healthy, athletically inactive study participants between the ages of 30 and 60 years, 89 people in three different groups (endurance, interval, strength) completed regular training sessions for six months. Training was done three times a week for 45 minutes each. The control group did not exercise.

The telomerase activity was found to be higher in the training groups than in the control group, and was highest in the endurance training group. The endurance training consisted of 45 minutes of jogging in the aerobic area. The interval training took place alternating between four-minute high stress phases and subsequent three-minute recovery with low stress. This sequence was carried out four times after a warm-up phase, at the end of which it ran out.

Heart training strengthens the heart
The strength training included a circuit training with eight exercises on devices. The telomerase activity can be measured. According to the scientists, there is a biomarker that makes it possible to derive training recommendations for healthy people and people with heart problems. “Healthy people can protect themselves from heart diseases through regular endurance exercise. Strength training should be carried out in addition to endurance training, but not as a substitute for it. "

The German Heart Foundation offers a special guide to help improve endurance in order to do something for heart health. Even people with a previously damaged heart can strengthen their hearts with appropriate heart training. (ad)

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