Why Your Fitness Routine Needs More Than Cardio

Physical fitness helps strengthen our hearts, stimulate bone growth, enhance balance and posture and decrease blood sugar. Furthermore, exercise increases energy and gives us a greater sense of self-worth.

Exercise doesn’t need to mean hours spent at a gym or endless miles run – try these fun activities instead!

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise, or cardio, has several widely acknowledged advantages that make it attractive to many. Cardio strengthens your heart to pump more efficiently throughout your body while simultaneously decreasing blood pressure and triglyceride levels, decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising good cholesterol (HDL), and overall improving lipid profiles.

Cardio exercises can help you manage your weight, decrease daily fatigue and lower risk for many chronic health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and depression. They may even increase energy and improve mood!

Consult with your doctor first when it comes to selecting suitable activities, particularly if any existing medical conditions exist. Next, find an exercise that meets both your needs and can be safely executed such as attending group fitness classes where instructors can ensure you perform each move correctly to reduce injury risks. If this is new territory for you, start small and build gradually over time.

Strength Training

Even if you are an avid runner, cyclist or pickleball player, regular strength training should also be part of your fitness regime to maintain muscle tone, improve balance and lower the risk of injury and disease.

Strength training (also referred to as resistance training) entails exercising your muscles against external force such as free weights, barbells, dumbbells, bodyweight or exercise machines. Strength training may also involve isometric exercises that cause your muscles to contract without altering length, such as planks and wall sits.

Experts generally advise conducting strength training sessions two to three days each week, targeting each of the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen and shoulders. Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to fatigue your muscles after 12-15 repetitions for best results and allow at least 48-72 hours rest in between training sessions.


Flexibility exercises help increase the range of motion of your muscles. They also prevent injuries by prepping muscles for movement and eliminating build-up of lactic acid in tight spots. Flexibility training may consist of static stretching prior to exercise sessions or dynamic movements like lunges or bodyweight squats during an actual workout session.

Flexibility may seem unimportant as part of a fitness exercise regimen, but staying flexible is crucial for injury prevention and daily movement. You can enhance your flexibility through various stretches or by participating in balance activities like yoga or standing on one leg.

Flexibility being specific to joints makes it more challenging than other fitness components like cardiorespiratory endurance to identify its relationship to health outcomes or markers; furthermore, clinical theory indicates that complex interactions among various musculoskeletal factors – rather than just one flexibility test item – will likely have greater impacts on overall wellbeing than solely taking one flexibility test item alone.

Weight Loss

Exercise to burn calories and aid weight loss is often the main driving force for starting an exercise program, yet this expectation can sometimes be oversold, leading to disappointment when exercise fails to deliver on those weight-loss goals. A variety of other factors beyond physical exercise may impact weight loss such as diet, genetics and psychological well-being – each contributing to success or failure when trying to shed extra pounds.

The most effective way to burn calories is through combining a healthy, calorie-restricted diet with regular and varied physical activity and behavioral change – a process known as energy balance equation which will help you meet your weight loss goal.

Add exercise to your daily routine can be the key to reaching your fitness goals faster. Committing to an enjoyable fitness program and setting realistic time frames for reaching them will reduce the chance that weight loss becomes an excuse to quit exercising altogether.

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