A woman-friend was complaining to her fitness trainer about how irregular her workouts have been since her promotion.
“My gym routine has gone haywire since this promotion; I mean, it”s nice to have this fancy title and the extra dollars, but I”ve gained all these excess pounds as well,” she said.
Her trainer nodded, having heard the same complaint over and over again.
“Whatever you do, don”t stop your workouts,” he advised. “You could lose the benefits you gained in just two weeks of inactivity. If you”re pressed for time, just do your cardio”.
…now, does this sound like good advice? Possibly; but not unarguably. You see, another fitness trainer could say the opposite — skip the cardio, but not the strength training. That trainer could maintain that if a person doesn”t have a weight problem, then she/he can just concentrate on doing weights to tone muscles.
So who is correct?
Neither one. Or rather: they both are. It depends on the fitness goals.
Strength Training or CardioThe five basic components of any fitness program are:
· cardiovascular endurance — a fit heart can pump blood more efficiently. Physically fit individuals have resting heart rates as low as 40-50 beats per minute, enabling them to cope efficiently with sudden bursts of exertion
· muscular (isotonic) endurance — weight lifting is a great way to increase muscular resistance (the ability of a large muscle group to apply repeated force over a period of time)
· muscular (isometric) strength — when muscles can exert force against resistance, everyday tasks become easier to tackle
· body composition — this is the ratio of fat to lean muscle; that is, less fat and more muscle improves fitness levels
· flexibility — stretching is an excellent way of making muscles more flexible, enabling them to perform a wider and fuller range of movement.
…as you can see, both strength training and cardio play a role in developing overall fitness.
Strength training — or resistance training is an excellent form of exercise that strengthens bones and tones muscles. The wonderful thing about strength training is that results can be somewhat quantitative: you may be capable of lifting 5 pounds today, but three weeks from now, provided you”ve followed your program carefully and seriously, you”ll be able to lift 20 pounds. It”s a nice feeling and very motivating.
Cardiovascular training is all about aerobic (with oxygen) capacity and stamina. Cardiovascular exercises are great calorie burners as well. When your trainer puts you on a cardiovascular program, he/she will often “take your heart rate.” This is because your workout must bring your heart pumping capacity to a range that is acceptable in order for the real benefits to kick in.
You can take a fitness assessment and see where you are in these different phases of your physical fitness at https://www.healthstatus.com/assessments.html .
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