Not only do you put everything you have each day into building your business or career, you're in it for the long haul: Building a future for your family. Serving your customers. Helping your employees grow and develop.
Making decisions and taking steps--today--designed to pay off for years to come.
Unfortunately, working so hard to benefit others can cause you to neglect yourself. Especially your physical self.
So maybe you don't go full Jack Dorsey...but you do try to stay reasonably healthy and fit through aerobic exercise. Numerous studies support the benefits of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week: Decreased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even some forms of cancer.
To most people, "exercise" means walking, jogging, cycling, logging time on an elliptical, etc. Which is good.
But not great: Research shows that focusing strictly on cardio and ignoring a little strength training can dramatically decrease your longevity and leave a number of other benefits on the table. (More on that later.)
In one study, researchers assessed the muscle mass and strength of over 4,000 adults aged 50 and over. Twenty-three percent of subjects had relatively low muscle mass. Nineteen percent had relatively low muscle strength.
Ten years later, the researchers circled back to see who had passed away. Here's what they found:
- Those with low muscle strength were two times as likely to have died
- Those with low muscle mass and low muscle strength were 2.6 times as likely to die. Yet oddly enough...
- Those with low muscle mass and normal muscle strength were no more likely to have died.
Where longevity is concerned, there is a huge difference between "show" and "go."
Muscle size doesn't really matter. Muscle strength matters.
(While it sounds counterintuitive, you can have relatively high muscle mass and still not be particularly strong.)
As with most things, function triumphs over form.
Research also shows that Father Time genuinely doesn't care what you look like.
A study of 80,000 people found that those who said they did any strength training at all were 23 percent less likely to die prematurely and 31 percent less likely to die of cancer.
As the researchers write:
In terms of mortality risk reduction, adherence to the [strength promoting exercise] guideline on physical activity appears to be at least as important as adherence to the aerobic guideline.
Our results support the value of specifically promoting adherence to the strength exercise guideline over and above the generic physical activity targets.
But wait, there's more: Those who met the strength training guidelines by working out twice a week didn't get much of a lifespan boost; the biggest impact came from doing a little strength training, as opposed to none at all.
Plus, participants received the same benefit from doing bodyweight exercises.
Which means you don't need to join a gym: Push-ups, squats, a little core work, and maybe a few pull-ups...increasing your strength to a reasonable level is the key to potentially increasing your lifespan.
Add it all up, and if you mix a little strength training into your cardio regimen, you won't just live longer.
You'll also benefit today.
Doing 20 minutes of moderate cardio can improve your mood for up to 12 hours afterwards.
Strength training increases cognitive function and reduces anxiety. (If you're not sure how to start getting stronger, here's a simple primer.)
Think of it solely in those terms, and you owe it to your business and your employees to do some cardio every day, and a little strength training a couple of times a week.
Not only will that result in more tomorrows, it will also help you perform better every day.
Can't beat that.