Exercise means different activities for different people. Some think it’s about running as far as you can while others think it’s about how well you can make a basket. Maybe you’re into lifting weights or doing yoga. Whatever your favorite form of exercise is, you need to incorporate a wide range of activities. More specifically, you need to include elements of flexibility, cardio and strength training into your routine.
When most people start a workout routine, they only think about their immediate goals. If they’re looking to gain weight, strength training is the way to go. For weight loss, cardio is the only exercise they’ll do. Taking this sort of attitude will cause you to miss out on other important areas of fitness that are ignored.
Flexibility is one of the most overlooked areas of fitness. Most people don’t stretch, and as a result are prone to more injuries and decreased performance. The reason why most people skip stretching is because it won’t directly help with weight loss or weight gain. So why even bother? Flexibility can make your muscles more elastic which will reduce injuries and increase performance. So while it won’t help you burn calories, it will help make exercising easier on your body.
Cardiovascular exercise isn’t only for people who are trying to lose weight. Cardio has many benefits outside of burning a large amount of calories. It mainly improves the health of your cardiovascular system and can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These two health benefits are nice even if you’re trying to build muscle.
Strength training is often ignored by those trying to lose weight because it doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio does. Strength training increases muscle mass which which can make your bones stronger and speed up your metabolism. A quicker metabolism means that your body will burn more calories throughout the day further aiding in weight loss.
Each area of fitness will bring with it not only benefits, but also new experiences. Group exercise classes can be used to improve your flexibility while taking a run outside or playing your favorite sport with some friends can give you all the benefits cardio has to offer. Strength training can be done at your own home with body weight exercises or at a fully equipped gym with machines and free weights.
The Bottom Line
Engaging in a wide variety of exercises will help you keep your routine from getting stale. By preventing yourself from getting bored of your workout plan, you’re much more likely to stay active without quitting.