Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cardio Is Only The Beginning

I have noticed that, particularly with women, cardio is the go to form of exercise for weight loss. Cardio is great. It's important and necessary. It can burn a lot of calories while you're doing it which helps you lose weight but, it is only the beginning of a complete fitness program.

For one thing, there are different types of cardio. Basic steady state cardio is a good start. At some point, however, you should think about adding in some intervals. Interval training is a great way to boost the calories you burn during your workout. It helps you improve your cardio vascular fitness more quickly than steady state. You can also do a little bit shorter workout when you do intervals because of the high intensity level.

Next, you need to do some strength training. Strength, or resistance, training will not bulk you up. If you have fat to lose that is covering up your muscles that might make it seem like the strength training is bulking you up. Really, your just building muscle under that fat which is making you look bigger. Losing the fat solves the problem. The good news is, you wanted to do that anyway.

This brings me to a common idea that you should lose the fat before you being strength training. Don't wait. Strength training will help you lose the fat. Although the strength training workouts themselves do not burn a ton of calories, there are lots of good things going on after the workout is over. The body will use up energy (aka calories) to repair the muscles after a strength training session. Then, the new muscle tissue you have built will burn extra calories around the clock just to maintain itself. Muscle tissue burns a lot more calories than fat tissue does.

The last thing in terms of exercise that I'll mention here is stretching. Muscles worked during cardio and strength training sessions get tight and that can cause all sorts of problems. Make sure to stretch on a regular basis. As a rule, after every workout, stretch the muscles you just worked. This will help keep you injury free and able to keep up with your workouts.

A varied, well-rounded exercise program will get you the results you want and a whole bunch of other benefits that will help you not just to lose weight but to experience a better quality of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment