Too much of a good thing isn't always such a good thing. Your body needs a well-rounded exercise program to stay in optimal health. Here are some ingredients the experts at Fitness Town and Life Fitness recommend for workout success:
Cardio: Cardiovascular exercises increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time. This is a necessary part of being fit because it strengthens your heart muscle, which in turn helps you breathe easier and helps your heart beat more efficiently. But just like anything, your body gets used to your daily cardio routine. Next time you're at the gym, try using the interval training program on the treadmill or cross-trainer for an extra boost of heart-pumping intensity.
Strength: For first time strength trainers, adding weights to a workout routine can provide impressive results on your body and on the scale. But it takes regular updates to ensure your training routine keeps your muscles guessing. Circuit training is a great strength workout as it follows a series of strength and/or cardio exercises that offer a great way to work all the major muscle groups in a short amount of time. Many gyms offer specialty circuit classes, or have strength machines arranged in the same area making it easier to arrange your own circuit.
Flexibility: Flexibility is another key component to a well-rounded program and the part that most often gets overlooked. As your muscles get worked more often, they become tight, sore and sometimes leads to over-use injury. One way to prevent this from happening is by incorporating a good stretching routine. This will lengthen out those tight muscles and help stretch the connective tissue that surrounds them.
The Core: The core is the center of your body that holds you up and keeps you tall, much like the trunk on a tree. Strengthening your abdominals and back muscles will give you better posture, keep your body strong and tall, help you age more gracefully and help every movement you make easier. Try these balance props with free weights or a pulley-based system like the Life Fitness Dual-Adjustable Pulley and feel the difference. Example: sit on a stability ball while performing the shoulder press reps. While your arms push the resistance, your midsection muscles engage to remain balanced on the ball, toning your core.
Before you get overwhelmed... remember, it's not as hard as it seems. It's all about cross training. A little bit of each is really all you need.