A review article in Current Sports Medicine Reports, "Aerobic or Muscle-Strengthening Physical Activity: Which Is Better for Health?" reported last year that strength and aerobic training are necessary for optimized health benefits. The article notes that muscle-strengthening physical activity (MSPA) has historically been under-researched regarding its health impacts compared to moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (MVPA). The benefits of MVPA have been well-documented since the London bus drivers study and Kenneth Cooper's cardiovascular disease studies. These benefits include substantially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, various chronic diseases, and morbidity. More recent studies show that MSPA independently protects against many of these health issues. Significantly, combined MSPA and MVPA increase the reduction of CVD risks.
I train for its effect on the quality of daily life. As I approach 70, the effects of having chosen a different path in life become steadily more apparent. I train like a 30-year-old and have much of the physical ability that I had at that age. The article's by-line in Current Sports Medicine Reports is "Exercise is Medicine." "Exercise is the Fountain of Youth" is just as appropriate.
I train because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate.