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Fitness For A Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Habit #2 – EXERCISE

Part 2 of our 7 part series

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Adopting a regular exercise routine is important to maintaining your weight, and the health of your muscles, bones, cardiovascular system and bodily organs. The health benefits of regularly engaging in a fitness program include weight loss & management, improved sleep, increased energy as well as lowering and managing the risk of chronic health conditions. When looking to access the multiple benefits of fitness & exercise you can break down the type of fitness into three main categories:

  1. RESISTANCE/STRENGTH TRAINING
  2. AEROBIC/CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING (‘CARDIO’)
  3. CROSS TRAINING

 

Resistance/Strength Training

Untitled designThere are multiple approaches to strength training; Natural or body weight resistance training, isometric techniques, and weightlifting which is the most common method for building the strength and definition of muscles. To maximize your time & effort focus on compound, functional movements (movements that utilize multiple joints at once) such as squats, pushups, pull-ups, deadlifts, lunges, & overhead presses. The importance and of compound, functional movements is two-fold. First these movements are natural & mimic movement patterns that are found in everyday life, therefore are extremely safe. Secondly, they start and recruit muscles from the core of the body (think strong abs) and work to the extremities which elicits a higher response from the body and ultimately leads to faster results.  For optimum results resistance/strength training should be done 3 – 4 times per week.

 

Aerobic/Cardiovascular Training

12633577_1118719684818880_775404930424367434_oAerobic and cardiovascular training develops endurance by engaging the body in repetitive workouts, such as running, rowing, biking, swimming and “circuit training”. Aerobic and cardiovascular training is ideal for strengthening the heart, balancing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure and helps to decrease body fat. The most common and recognizable form of “cardio” is LSD – Long Slow Distance. This is typically one exercise or modality (running, biking etc…) done for an extended period of time and typically lasting 30-45mins. 1 component of aerobic training that often gets overlooked is interval training; implementing short burst of exercise at a fast pace followed by a specific period of rest repeated multiple times. For example;

  • Run 400m (1x around a standard track) at 85-90% effort, Rest 90 secs. then repeat 4-5 times.
When structured properly, interval training is extremely powerful in developing a very high level of aerobic/cardiovascular fitness.

 

Cross Training

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 Cross Training is the bi-product of combining strength training, body weight resistance training and cardiovascular training. This type of training program is designed to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible and is the best way to improve an individuals competency at all physical tasks. Why, because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result.  They move the largest loads the longest distances, so they are ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. By employing a constantly varied approach to training, functional movements and intensity lead to dramatic gains in fitness.

 

When it comes to living a healthy, lifestyle regular participation in a fitness & exercise program is key. When done separately strength training & cardiovascular training are powerful tools that will strengthen muscles, build aerobic capacity, help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat. And when you combine them, in the form of cross training, it is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result.

 

If you have questions on how to safely implement strength training, cardiovascular training, or how to get started in an effective cross training program contact us today.

 

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