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Fitness adaptations

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality,” urged the Dalai Lama XIV.

Andy Galpin, Ph.D., has been a professor of kinesiology at California State University since 2011, and has taken the Dalai Lama’s suggestion to heart. As the Director of the Center for Sport Performance at CSU since 2015, he has conducted research on a wide range of topics relevant to human performance – and enjoys sharing his knowledge.

One of the ways he shares is through his podcast, The Body of Knowledge, which I listen to on a regular basis.

The nine adaptations

A recent episode of Dr. Galpin’s podcast covered the nine adaptations that can be used to transform the functional capacities and aesthetics of our body, and the benefits each adaption has for our health:

  • Skill and technique.

  • Strenght.

  • Power.

  • Speed.

  • Muscular endurance.

  • Muscular hypertrophy.

  • Anaerobic capacity.

  • Aerobic capacity.

  • Long duration aerobic.

Each of these is important, and depending on your sport, will produce different benefits.

I believe that strength and power are the most important adaptations. As we age, we rapidly lose these adaptations, which are essential for daily living, including preventing falls.

Mix it up

Each sport produces different adaptations. For instance, mountain biking produces much different adaptations from those produced playing golf or tennis. As a result, incorporating many types of activities supports multiple adaptations with numerous heath benefits.

In one of his many studies, Dr. Galpin looked at identical twins. One was a longdistance endurance athlete and the other was inactive. He found that the athlete had a better heart rate, blood pressure and lower percentage of body fat. He also scored higher in aerobic tests. But they had the same muscle mass. And the strength tests were in favour of the non-exerciser.

Bottom line, for optimal health, vary your sports and activities.

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