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RISE to Metabolomics: Strength or Stamina For Metabolic Health?

What type of exercise, strength or aerobic training, is best for our health? We know that any type of activity, even walking, is better for us than being inactive. But going a bit deeper to understanding our complex metabolism requires a relatively new field of science: metabolomics. Metabolomics studies the molecules in our blood to understand desirable, as well as detrimental, metabolite patterns.

Recent Study Focusing on Endurance and Strength

A recent study in metabolomics focused on endurance and strength training to determine if one routine is better than the other when it comes to our metabolite patters and health.

The researchers took 580 young Finnish men and studied them in an aerobic and strength capacity. In both groups, the men were stratified from most aerobically fit to least and strongest to weakest (all the men were rank-ordered in both groups).

The researchers assessed the metabolic health of the men in two ways:

  1. The strongest one-third of men against the aerobically weakest one-third
  2. The aerobically strongest one-third against the weakest (strength-wise) one-third

What’s Better for Our Metabolic Health?

The results found that the aerobically stronger men had the most desirable molecular structure with respect to their metabolic health. Whereas there was no significant changes in metabolic profiles between the strongest and weakest men (strength-wise).

These results, which generally held true when the scientists controlled for body composition, exercise habits and other factors, suggest that aerobic capacity affects metabolism substantially more than muscular strength does, says Dr. Urho Kujala, a professor of medicine and sports science at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, who led this…research.

“Aerobic Fitness May Trump Strength for Metabolic Health” The New York Times

In summary, there is support for the idea that aerobic activity is good for us and may be better for our metabolic health than strength training.

Source: New York Times

Dr. Sonja Stilp is a spine and sports physician. She can help with exercise and program options to improve your metabolic health. If you’d like to hear more schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Stilp at RISE in Boulder, Colorado. 

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