Benefits of Strength Training and Cardiovascular Exercise

exercise--health benefits of exercise.previewWe have a tendency to judge if exercise and diet are working by what the bathroom scale shows us each time that we step onto it. But that should not be the case. With each bout of exercise, we are improving many aspects of our health and physiology that are not visible to the naked eye. Here are just a few of the benefits that you receive as a result of consistent exercise:

Strength Training:

  • Building muscle mass can increase metabolism by 15% – so if you’re looking to rev up that slow metabolism and become more functional as you age – you need to be strength training at least two to three times each week.
  • Prevents Sarcopenia – which is the loss of muscle mass as you age – you can lose up to 10% or more of your muscle per decade after age 50.
  • Plays a role in disease prevention – like type 2 dabetes for example.
  • Improves the way your body moves resulting in better balance and less falls as you age (you can reduce your risk for falling by 40%).
  • Spares the loss of muscle during weight loss (Donnelly et al., 2003).
  • Will offset bone loss as you age – women can expect to lose 1% of their bone mass after age 35 (and this increases following menopause) – see Stong Women, Stong Bones

Cardiovascular Exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise will improve your mood by decreasing stress and anxiety levels – read Exercise for Mood and Anxiety by Michael Otto, Phd and Jasper Smits, PhD
  • Cardio exercise like jogging, hiking, jump roping etc will “load” your bones in your lower extremity and make them stronger.
  • Makes your heart stronger, lowers your resting heart rate and enables your body to deliver oxygen more efficiently to your working muscles.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine states that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with approximately a 50% reduction in disease risk.


Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., Pronk, N., Smith, B.K., Kirk, E.P., Jacobsen, D.J., Washburn, R. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management? Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.



  • Peggy Pierce says:

    Hi Michael My name is Peggy and I have been a Koko member since March and enjoy your audios as I workout on the treadmill-I have a general question when taking my heart rate during my cardio training on the treadmill is the reading between the two heart rates considered to mean your aerobically fit if they are further apart or c loser together? Thanks Peggy

    • michael wood says:

      Hi Peggy – great to meet you – to answer your question, the wider the gap between your peak and recovery HR – the better – for instance, if your 144 bpm at peak and then 1:00 later your 113 – for example – that would be good – >30 beats is good – >50 beats recovery is excellent. Let me know if you have any other questions –

  • Dino says:

    I would like to make one of these events, but unfortunately the events so far have conflicted with family events. The next one also conflicts with my son’s summer special olympic games. They are actually taking place in Boston (Harvard, BU, Joh Ryan Arena). ( Hopefully I will be able to make the next one. Thank you

    • michael wood says:

      Hi Dino – we will definitely get you into the next one – maybe we can switch the June 8th date to the following Sat…the 15th

      We are also trying to set up a Blue Hills Hike with a few members…I look forward to meeting you!


    • michael wood says:

      Hi Dino – I changed the Harvard stadium workout to June 22 at 8 am

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