People often begin an exercise program without understanding the basics of a perfect workout plan. Workout tips by fitness professionals speak of three basic fitness components for a well-structured program. These comprise of –
1. Cardiovascular Fitness
2. Strength Training
3. Flexibility Exercise
Our heart is the most active muscle in our body; that works constantly, non-stop. It therefore becomes vital to include exercises that can help in improving the functioning of the heart. Cardiovascular exercises are known to work best in providing the heart with a workout. These consist of workouts that increase the heart rate and help condition it.
Cardiovascular exercises are also referred to as aerobic exercises. Examples of cardiovascular exercise include cycling, dancing, jogging, running, skipping, swimming, walking and playing a sport etc. Any physical activity that raises the heart rate can be termed as cardiovascular exercise.
Experts recommend that cardiovascular exercise should be practiced for at least half an hour every day to keep your heart healthy and to remain physically fit. Doing so improves blood circulation and helps maintain the heart and lungs as well. You can for instance include cardiovascular exercise in your daily routine by taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
Strength Or Resistance Training
Doing cardiovascular exercise routine alone is not sufficient. To give the body a proper workout it is also important to include strength training routines in your schedule. Strength or resistance training has a three pronged advantage –
1. It increases muscle strength
2. Enhances bone density
3. Keeps joints in perfect condition
There are a number of other benefits that can be attributed to strength training exercise, such as –
1. Improved posture
2. Healthier metabolic rate
3. Well toned body
Strength training can be practiced on different types of equipment, at the gym or at home. The most commonly used fitness tools for strength training at home include bar bells, dumb bells, kettle bells, elastic bands etc, to the more sophisticated machines such as the Bowflex and Elliptical Trainer available in gyms and health clubs.
Tips to get your strength routine correct –
1. Strength training exercises should be done slowly, instead of quick, jerky movements, as the risk of injury is high with fast paced routines.
2. Rest your muscles after each set of strength training.
3. Do not work all muscles groups on one day. Use alternate days for working out different body parts, so the muscles get time to recuperate and repair damaged tissues.
4. The ideal routine would be to train key muscle groups twice or three times a week, no more.
It is a myth that body building exercises are sufficient to stay healthy. The body also requires flexibility exercises to remain supple and free from muscular stress. Flexibility exercises should therefore be part of your fitness regimen.
Flexibility exercises comprise of free hand routines such as stretching, bending and twisting. Yoga offers the most holistic approach to flexibility routines. It is an extremely scientific form of exercise that offers numerous benefits.
Flexibility exercise will help you achieve –
1. Relaxation of muscles
2. Better nutrient and blood flow to joint structures
3. Improved posture
4. Enhanced mobilization of joints
The Final Word
Exercise in such a way that you incorporate the above mentioned forms in your routine. This will provide a complete workout to your entire body.