Sprinting is a high-intensity activity that involves running short distances at maximum effort & speed. It’s an effective way to improve your overall health & fitness. Unfortunately, the general population doesn’t realize how beneficial sprinting can be! Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just want to get fit, here are seven reasons why you should add sprinting to your training routine.
#1 Boost Human Growth Hormone
All exercise is beneficial for the body, but not all exercise is created equal! Research suggests that maximum effort sprinting followed by strategic periods of rest can dramatically increase Human Growth Hormone. Human Growth Hormone does many things for the body, including regulating body composition, muscle & bone growth, & sugar & fat metabolism. It’s been labeled as “the fountain of youth”. Unfortunately, HGH isn’t produced by the body forever & starts to decline with age. This is known as Somatopause. To combat Somatopause, you can either opt for HGH injections or you can sprint more!
#2 Increase Longevity
Sprint training has been shown to be great for your chromosomes, specifically the ends of them called telomeres. Telomeres halt the degradation of your genes & protect your cells from aging. Shorter telomere length is associated with age related disease like cancer, stroke, obesity, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, & diabetes, whereas longer telomere length is associated with health & longevity. Research shows that vigorous aerobic exercise such as sprinting can preserve the length of telomeres in healthy older adults & increase longevity.
#3 Improve Cardiovascular Health
Sprinting is the quintessential HIIT training tool! Research suggests that HIIT training offers many advantages for cardiovascular fitness over traditional steady state. Researchers found that those who engaged in HIIT saw a significant increase in their VO2 Max (measure of oxygen use) & peak power output, two important markers for cardiovascular fitness.
#4 Increase Muscle Mass
Have you ever noticed that world class marathon runners look significantly different than Olympic sprinters? If you want to increase your muscle mass and improve your definition, you must train fast-twitch fibers via activities like sprinting.
#5 Improve Brain Health
Sprinting impacts your mental health more so than traditional forms of cardio. Research has shown that sprint interval training, rather than intensive endurance training, can increase BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors) (1). BDNF encourages neurogenesis, or growth of new brain cells & also protects your brain from degradation by repairing failing brain cells. BDNF helps the brain continue to communicate with the muscles. It also increases neuroplasticity, which is important for learning and long-term memory. Low BDNF has been linked with both depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), impaired learning, & even Alzheimer's.
#6 Preserve Type 2 Muscle Fibers
Not all muscle fibers are created equally & can be broken down into two main categories: Type 1 & Type 2. The key difference between these two fibers is their contraction speed as well as their maximal force capabilities. Type 1 are considered “slow twitch”, whereas type 2 fibers are considered “fast twitch”. Humans lose fast twitch muscle fibers 1.7x faster than strength as we age. For this reason, it is important to maintain type 2 muscle fibers. We can do so with anaerobic work like sprint training.
#7 Improve Metabolism
Sprinting burns more calories per unit of time than long distance jogging. Sprinting boosts metabolism & helps your body efficiently burn calories during & after exercise. This is due to EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) & or oxygen debt.
Sprint Training offers numerous health benefits and should be considered by anyone looking to get fit or stay active. From increasing your longevity to improving your brain health, incorporating regular sprinting into your workouts can be extremely beneficial for both your physical and mental wellbeing! So if you haven't already started sprint training then now might be the perfect time!
Comments will be approved before showing up.