The Best Cardio for a Fat Free Life

Studies have shown that exercising for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week produces the most beneficial results. The thing is, that exercise can cover a huge range of activities provided that your heart rate is raised to a suitable level for your age and remains at that level for the majority of the exercise period.

So What Sort Of Cardio Exercise Should I Do?

This is the fun part – almost anything provided it is safe and follows the criteria for raising your heart rate. I like to mix it up, one day alternating fast walking with jogging in the park, another attending a folk dance class and so on. The simplest routine is one that is also highly effective – just going for a power walk, arms pumping at sufficient pace will provide a low impact route to stripping excess fat from your body. It’s crucial to keep boredom at bay and to constantly push yourself just that little bit more. For these reasons, I advocate a class or new hobby that is both physical and fun. Some ideas include:

Tennis
Cycling
Soccer
Volleyball
Hiking
Dancing of all types
Boxing
Canoeing
Rowing
Skiing
Water-skiing
Wind-surfing
Surfing

The possibilities are literally endless and half the joy comes from mastering a new skill which, in turn, boosts your new found confidence. Ideally, you would split your exercise routine into four or five sessions with one or two devoted to your new hobby or sport per week. Create a fitness plan for 4 weeks of exercise in a journal. That’s roughly how long it takes for our bodies to truly absorb and begin to feel the benefit of healthy new habits.

Create a comments section to record your observations on how your exercise session went. It’s here that you can really work on upping your motivation by praising yourself where necessary and by paying close attention to how YOU felt about your session.

Was it fun? Easier than last time? A little more than you expected? Note it all down and you’ll start to see how you progress over the coming weeks. You can also create a space to suggest modifications for yourself or even just to write down which particular exercises really worked for you.

Remember, this is all about taking responsibility for your own body and the more you do this the stronger your motivation will be to do the right thing for yourself.

 

Your Guide for an Aerobics Workout

Aerobics is an intense workout which gives you massive results, but only if you do it patiently and regularly. It’s really important to dedicate your time and energy positively to attain the desired results when you start with such a workout regime. So, before starting with it, you need to remember a few important things which will help you during these sessions.

1. Precautionary measures

If you have any chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or arthritis) or any other risk factors (such as smoking or being overweight), and have not discussed exercising with your doctor, you should do so before starting out on your aerobics workout regime. Exercise is often an important part of the treatment for such conditions, but you may have some limitations or special needs that your doctor can inform you about. You may get hurt while doing some difficult steps during your aerobics workout, so it is necessary to discuss it with your doctor.

2. Must-Haves

Wear shoes that fit well and are capable of providing the right kind of support for your aerobics activity and comfort for your body type. Wear appropriate clothes for exercising. Make sure you always carry a Water bottle and Towel during your workout. Fabrics that absorb sweat are recommended. Women should wear supportive sports bras. But no one should EVER wear rubber or plastic suits or belts-these prevent your body from dissipating heat properly and can lead to serious health risks from overheating and dehydration.

3. Know your limits

It is inevitable if you experience a little amount of discomfort during your aerobics exercise – this way you push your body’s limits.. Expecting to have some sore muscles after a vigorous workout is expected and you will feel the cramps for a day or two. But at the same time, you need to take care that if you are experiencing problems like pain or pressure in your chest or neck, shoulder or arm, or notice that your heart starts racing or beating irregularly during your aerobic exercise, it is best to immediately slow down. Allow your heart rate to drop gradually before stopping completely, since an abrupt stop can cause problems with blood circulation and sometimes, fainting. However, in cases of severe and sudden pain, stop immediately and seek help.

4. Enjoy your workout

After taking care of all the essentials and becoming aware of your body’s limits, enjoy your workout to the fullest. Aerobics is a workout which is best enjoyed with great music. The workout always starts with simple stretching techniques; therefore, it is easy for anyone in the early stages to catch up with the steps. Initially, the steps are done with a set count, so it is effectively done if you follow your trainer’s lead.

Don’t waste a single second in pondering about how to go for an aerobics session, and start your workout right away.

 

What Is the Best Cardio For Weight Loss?

While cardio plays an important role in weight loss, this should be combined with proper diet if the long-term benefits are still to be achieved and maintained. In fact the right diet is a key factor while trying to cut weight and improve your overall health. However, when it is combined with the right cardio exercises for weight loss as well as weight training programs, the combination will bear more fruits. So what is the best cardio for weight loss?

This will depend on your physical capabilities, personal preferences and limitations. If you are the type that loves jogging, you should go for a job. If walking is your thing, then you should walk. Whether it is playing basketball or a combination of different activities, you will need to choose an activity that is suited to your need. The key thing here is to ensure that you select an activity that you enjoy daily and ensure that you are consistent with it. You can expect to lose around 1 or 2 pounds every week. If you stick with this number in the long-term, you will definitively see success. Here are some other cardio activities that are worth considering.

Speed walking

This could be through indoor track, treadmill or even outside. One research concluded that overweight women who engaged in speed-interval walking workouts that lasted for 45 minutes for each session combined with weight training toning workouts for 4 times in a week were able to lose 23 pounds within a period of 16 weeks. You can walk in the evening and explore the new areas in your neighbourhood so as to keep the walk interesting and fun.

Jogging

This is an exercise that we all understand. All you will need to do is to jog at your desired speed. Also ensure that you have the right footwear so that you do not get blisters.

Stationary bike

This is a key exercise for toning the legs on top of burning calories. As you exercise on a stationary bike, it is important to ensure that the machine has been set in enough resistance. This will help you to avoid peddling yourself off from the bike and if necessary, you can sprint.

Elliptical machine

You can start by setting the machine in a comfortable level and ensure that you continue in your own pace to ensure that you workout hard enough in a way that enables you to burn the right calories. Engaging in some short high intensity intervals for a period of 30 to 60 seconds will work very well and the exercise will enable you to sweat much. Ensure that you have 3 to 5 minutes of cooling down.

Basketball

You can choose to shoot baskets on your own or you engage in a game with friends. Ensure that you remain constantly on the move, running to the court ends while using both baskets. For the best cardio to lose weight, contact Muscle Prodigy.

 

Guide to Cardio Exercises – The Outdoor Workou

The human body is a complex system that is composed of organs, limbs, muscles, blood, hormones and nails among others. In order for the body to function, you need to eat and breathe. Oxygen helps to oxygenate the blood while food nourishes the muscles and body cells allowing the body to grow and develop.

The heart and the lungs are vital organs as they are at the center of the above activities that is pumping of oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to and from the body as well as breathing in and out of clean and used air.

Today, thanks to smart devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets, people are spending way too much time with them. It’s not a surprise to find people sleeping with these devices beside them so that they don’t miss that post, tweet or WhatsApp message from a friend or loved one.

Leading a sedentary lifestyle has a negative impact on the body. To improve one’s cardiovascular health, you need to engage in cardio exercises.

Swimming

For many people, a swimming pool is just a place where you can throw a party and invite a few friends. For others, it’s a place to sleep on the deck chair and let the skin absorb the rays of the sun as you sip your favorite drink.

Swimming is a great workout as it engages different limbs and muscles when moving through the water. For example, when you breast stroke, you need to make movements with your arms, neck and legs. This exercise helps to make the heart to pump blood faster while the lungs take in clean air and expel used air.

Next time you have an opportunity of standing by a pool; don’t look at it as a massive pond but as a gateway to better health.

Walking

The best thing about walking is that you can turn it into a fun activity. You don’t have to walk in the park or around the neighborhood when you need to exercise. The hills and woods in the countryside are perfect places to hike. When you walk, different joints like the knees, the elbows and shoulders get to move which improves lubrication.

For the muscles around the legs, thighs, arms and back, they will not only receive nourishment from oxygenated blood but they will receive the much needed exercise too. You will be able to exercise your legs and the whole body as well as experience nature at its best.

Running

When you run, you engage your heart and your lungs just like swimming and cycling do. The lungs will take in oxygen and dispel used air quickly. This is done to supply the heart with oxygenated blood as the body cells are burning energy at a high rate. Running is a cardio exercise for the outdoors and the best thing about it is that you can push your body to highest limits. For instance, you can start jogging one mile in a day and within no time; you will have the ability of participating in a marathon.

Cycling

When you cycle, you help to jump start metabolism allowing your body to burn calories which in turn powers the cells in the muscles. Cycling allows you to engage your legs, your back, your elbows, your arms and your wrists. Your heart and lungs will benefits from the oxygen as well as the energy produced which helps to power the organs.

Final Thoughts

What you need to remember is that even though cardio exercises help to improve your heart and lungs, you need to take a rest. You can work out from Monday to Friday but set Saturday and Sunday for resting.

 

Three Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training

If you are looking for a new workout regime, or are just looking for some new challenges, high intensity interval training (HIIT) might be for you. It’s an interval style training featuring quick, intense bursts, followed by short recovery periods. You give it your all during the short bursts, take a quick rest, and then repeat the cycle. Don’t be fooled by the short nature of the intervals, if you do it right, these short bursts will leave you sucking wind. This training technique that has caught a lot of attention in recent years, and for good reason. Here are three great benefits of HIIT workouts.

More efficient

First and foremost, high intensity interval training is much more efficient than a typical workout routine. This holds especially true for people who have limited time to workout. 20-30 minutes is a sufficient amount of time for a HIIT workout. Even though you may not be spending as much time in the gym, the intense bursts will make up for it compared to steady state workout, such as a long run.

Better cardiovascular fitness

Subjecting yourself to high intensity interval training works wonders for your metabolism because your body burns calories during the workout and for hours afterwards. This leads to more fat loss if you are trying to lose weight or if you are justing toning up. Additionally, high intensity interval training is great for your cardiovascular health as you are cycling between your peak heart rate and then back down to a normal heart rate. Over time, your cardio system will become much more efficient at lowering your heart rate immediately following an intense burst. You’ll start to notice yourself being in better shape to handle the HIIT workouts, and your cardio will be in better shape too. This leads to improving your endurance as an athlete. If you are training for a marathon, mixing in HIIT workouts with your regular training will help you build your endurance faster.

It grows with you

This is often overlooked, but high intensity interval training grows with you. Most other workout regimens cause the participant to plateau once they’ve reached a certain level. This is seen by people who train the same way over and over again – their bodies have adapted to that level of workout, and it isn’t challenging enough for them to see great improvements. This is not the case with HIIT, as it grows with you. You’re all in for the intense bursts. 100%. Maximum effort. As your endurance and athletic abilities increase, what once was 100% for you may now be only 70%. As you improve, so does your peak. This means that you’ll break through plateaus and get in better shape fast, and improve faster, compared to standard workouts.

HIIT offers many advantages compared with normal workout regimens. They are very time efficient, greatly improve your cardiovascular health, and allow you to achieve new levels of fitness due to its inherent nature of growing with you. Now that you know a little more about the benefits of high intensity interval training,

Regular Sessions in Cardiovascular Exercise

Regular sessions in the cardiovascular area improve the health of your heart and lungs. It also helps your heart and lungs to function properly; therefore it is called as “cardio.”

Cardiovascular exercise promotes loss of body fat. Reducing the level of appetite in many individuals is useful. For people with diabetes who have well-controlled blood sugar levels in their veins, cardiovascular exercise is good for them. There are numerous of cardiovascular exercises that you can include in your daily schedule. Examples of the most well-liked cardiovascular training include Running, Biking, Cycling, Skipping, Aerobics, Walking, Jogging, Kickboxing, Swimming, and Team Sports.

Simple tips on cardiovascular exercise:

1. Decide Your Objectives: Why would you like to fuse cardiovascular exercise into your schedule? Are you looking for endurance? Want to run around with your kids without getting winded? Do you want to lose body fat and show off those muscles? Are you interested in cardiovascular fitness for health reasons? For heart health and to get lean, you do not need steady state cardio! However, if endurance is your goal, then you shall want to incorporate some of this into your week.

2. Pick Something You Enjoy: Explore your options for cardiovascular activities. Whether you prefer to be in a gym, at home or out-of-doors, there are plenty of choices for cardiovascular training. I enjoy being outside. What do you enjoy? Jumping rope? Sprints? Biking? Rowing? Elliptical? You will probably adhere to your workouts if you enjoy them.

3. Use Interval Training: Incorporate intervals into your training by alternating between low and high radiance throughout your workout. For example, you might sprint for 1 minute followed by a moment of walking. Do this five times each for a total of 10 minutes of interval training. Beginners alternate between striking and at a moderate pace. Add a 5-minute warm-up and 5 minutes cool down to complete your cardiovascular workout in 20 minutes with better results than your hour of steady state cardio!

4. Record Your Workouts: Keep track of your workouts so you can see what you accomplished. Use a notebook or create a file on your computer or phone. Tracking your progress is an essential step in achieving success.

5. Strength Training: Always do your cardiovascular workout following your strength work. It maximizes fat burn. For best results, incorporate full body circuit work as part of your strength training. Limiting rest between sets and moving quickly from exercise to exercise increases your heart rate as you build muscle. Combine strength training, cardiovascular work, and nutrition for optimal health.

6. Healthy Eating: Nutrition is the final component in achieving your fitness goals and the most important. Not only does food provide us with valuable nutrients and the fuel we need to survive, but the way we eat is also 90% of reaching our body composition goals. Use common sense when making food choices. Eat as cleanly as possible choosing from whole foods; i.e. whole grains, lean meats, poultry and fish, nuts, nut butter, and organic oils, as well as organic fruits and vegetables. Keep a food diary so you can see what is working and where you have to change your food intake to meet your objectives.

Benefits of cardiovascular exercise are:

There are numerous recommendations on health benefits of cardiovascular exercise. In addition to improving the health of your heart, regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce saturated fats, pulmonary function and improve the development of bones and muscles. It also contributes to solving the problem of depression.

It is necessary to adequately plan for cardiovascular exercise so that all muscles and body functions can receive the benefits of extensive training. Plan your schedule for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day. Regular exercise will make your cardiovascular system stronger.

Cardio helps to improve the level of endorphins in the body. These chemicals make us feel good, energetic and lively. Even just twenty minutes of training can lead to an increase in long-term mood. Thus, it is possible to see that people choose to exercise early in the morning. Cardiovascular Exercise releases endorphins in the brain that can give you a natural stimulant, also known as high “corridor” “Cardio also helps with depression and stress decreases while increasing self-esteem.

The positive relationship between cardio and mood can improve sleep, although it is more than that. Cardiovascular exercise, especially in the afternoon or early evening makes body temperature to rises above normal. Over the next hour, before sleeping, body temperature decreases slowly. Keep in mind, however; that cardiovascular exercise stimulates the muscles, brain, and heart, and it can prevent sleep if too close to bedtime can.

The best cardio workout

The best cardio workout has to be one that forces your heart into a workout. Yes, the heart is a muscle, and it needs to be worked out. Aside from the function of training your heart to maintain health, the best cardiovascular workout should help you burn calories, which is needed to lose weight and burn fat. More accurately, it helps you to burn off that excess fat that is not only clogging your veins and decreasing your health but also covering and hiding all the precious muscles you have worked and built.

So the best cardio workout has to include a proper diet. Not dieting but rather healthy eating. Working out with the right intensity and watching your meals. Avoiding fats and sugary food, eating small and consistent meals.

Cardiovascular workouts do not have to be long and tedious. They should be short and exciting as you add interval training and circuit work into your program.

 

Living Healthy by Doing 5 Shortcuts to Aerobic Exercise Like a Pro

Staying fit and healthy is every individual’s preference. To attain this objective they go to the gym, spend time there doing aerobics. Aerobics is considered one of the most effective ways to get rid of that extra fat that you have, tone the body and keep it in shape. The 5 shortcuts to aerobic exercise like a pro includes endurance sprints, stadium stairs, and sled drag. Doing these regularly tones your body and gives the chiselled physique that you prefer.

When you do aerobic exercises then there are two types of workout that you need to focus. One is the cardio workout, and the other is the strength workout. The cardio workout targets your cardio vascular system, it helps in proper blood circulation in the body, and increased blood circulation leads to the improvement of the muscular tissue thereby enhancing a person’s physique.

Types of cardio workout

Endurance Sprints: – In such sprints, you need to do two 150 meter sprints with a gap of 30 seconds between each run. You need to complete the run within 20 seconds. This needs to be followed by three minutes of rest.

Another type of sprint is considered to be a healthy workout is when you do three 200 metre run with a gap of 30 seconds between each run. You need to complete each run within 30 seconds. After that take rest for three minutes.

Yet another sprint comes under the class of endurance sprint is when you do a 300 metre sprint and that too within 50 seconds. This needs to be followed by 5 minutes of rest.

Stadium stairs: – In this type of cardio workout, you need to sprint up stairs followed by walking downstairs. This needs to be repeated as many as 10 times and there should be a 10 second gap between each repetition. Post completion of the 5 shortcuts to aerobic exercise like a pro, you need to take rest for about 5 minutes.

Sled drag: In this type of workout, you need to load a sled with about 90 pounds of weight. Then, you need to do sprinting for roughly 30 yards. You have to make 8 such repetitions and between them you need to take rest for about 30 seconds.

Various strength work outs
• Power cleans
• Bench press
• Dead lifts
• Squats
• DB rows
• DB overhead press
• Burpees
• Pull ups
• Crunches
• Core plank
• Plate twists

The benefits of aerobic exercise

1. Doing 5 shortcuts to aerobic exercise like a pro on a regular basis is good for your health. Such practice enhances your endurance and stamina. Initially, it may appear that you suffer from muscle aches, exhaustion, but once you make exercise a habit, you feel good about it.

2. Doing exercise on a regular basis results in stress reduction. Such shortcuts to aerobic exercise increases certain hormone levels in the blood, sustaining good health.

3. If you engage in regular exercise then the chances of occurrence of heart disease is greatly reduced.

4. It makes your immune system strong thereby boosting your resistance to illness and stress.

5. It strengthens the joints and bones. The chances of occurring bone diseases like osteoporosis is greatly reduced if you indulge in regular exercise.

6. It also helps to decrease a person’s appetite. You won’t feel hungry quickly if you practice aerobics.

7. Such practice on a regular basis burns calories. This contributes to weight loss and enables controlling of weight.

8. Aerobics and its shortcuts make your lungs and heart strong. This enables the entire body to function properly. It also helps to increase longevity of human life.

9. An interesting fact about aerobics is that it reduces the risk for breast cancer among women. Researches reveal that women engaged in regular exercise have thrice less chances of developing breast cancer.

10. Aerobics reduces your blood pressure.

If you do exercises on a regular basis and take a balanced diet then you can make yourself feel good. Most people of the developed world do aerobics in order to reduce fat, burn extra calories, and make their physique attractive. The 5 short cuts to aerobic exercise like a pro increase their life span. They lead a healthy life. There are many places where you can take aerobic lessons. After taking lessons, you can practice them at your own place.

 

Determining Exercise Intensity

If you are new to exercise and are looking to begin a new workout program, you may be wondering what intensity level is appropriate for your goals and your fitness level. Many people aren’t sure what intensity levels are defined by and avoid exercises labeled as vigorous intensity due to the fear of injury or lack of ability. As a personal trainer and exercise physiologist, it is my job to help explain these terms and concepts in a more understandable way. In this article, I will break down, light, moderate, and vigorous intensity, so that you, as a physically activity individual, are more educated and comfortable with what it is you are doing in your day to day exercises. It is recommended that a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise be done by most healthy adults, while light to moderate exercises, be performed by deconditioned persons. Intensity is individually based, meaning your intensity level is based on your physical abilities and not generalized by the abilities of others. Ideally, you would want a professional in the field to determine your intensity levels based on a guided fitness test, but I will provide you with information that will allow you to get an estimate without such resources. To do so we will use what is known as the target HR reserve method. This method begins with the HR reserve, which is defined as the difference in your resting heart rate and your maximal HR. Your HR reserve is then multiplied by the appropriate intensity percentage you are targeting, then your resting HR is added back to get your target HR reserve. Below I have demonstrated the method for moderate intensity exercise for myself.

1) To find your estimated HR max, subtract your age from 220.

220-22= 198 bpm. My estimated HR max is 198 beats per minute.

2) To find your resting heart rate, use a radial pulse or HR monitor. My resting HR is 60 beats per minute. I will now subtract my resting HR from my estimated heart rate max to determine my heart rate reserve.

198 – 60 =138 beats per minute.

3) Now I must use the heart rate reserve (HRR) and multiply it by the percentage equivalent to the intensity you are aiming to reach.

a. Light Intensity <50% HRR

b. Moderate Intensity 50-70% HRR

c. Vigorous Intensity 70%-85% HRR

In this case, I would like to exercise at moderate intensity. Therefore, I will multiply my HRR by 50% to get my lowest HR value and then by 70% to get my highest value to remain within that range for moderate intensity.

138 beats per minute X.50 = 69 beats per minute.

138 beats per minute X.70 = 96.6 beats per minute.

4) The last step in this process to get your final range of target HR reserve is to add your resting HR back to the HRR percentage. This allows the equation to consider your cardio endurance level at rest and adjusts accordingly. Below, I have demonstrated how to do so and have found my target HRR range for moderate intensity exercise.

69 beats per minute + 60 beats per minute = 129 beats per minute

96.6 beats per minute + 60 beats per minute = 156.6 beats per minute.

Target HR Range for Moderate Intensity = 129 bpm – 156.6 bpm.

Benefits of Light Intensity Exercise

Light intensity exercise is very beneficial to older adults. It allows them to remain physically active when there may be physical limitations or health concerns preventing moderate or vigorous activity. Light intensity is considered anything below 50% of the target heart rate reserve and provides many health benefits, especially to deconditioned persons. An Oregon State University study, published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, showed a significant increase in health for elderly persons, who participated in light physical activity such as walking. These individuals were less likely to develop chronic illness and had lower body mass index measurements.

Benefits of Moderate Intensity Exercise

Moderate intensity exercise is the most beneficial form of exercise. It yields an enormous amount of health benefits ranging from lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol, weight management, cancer prevention, and much more. Moderate intensity is recommended for all adults unless restricted by a doctor. Moderate intensity is anything between 50%-70% of the target HR reserve and is attainable by doing many activities, such as brisk walking, leisurely cycling, aqua aerobics, and dancing. There is a wide range of ways in which you can be physically active and yield the benefits of moderate intensity, but it begins with you taking that first step.

Benefits of Vigorous Intensity Exercise

Vigorous-intensity exercise is recommended for adults who are habitually physically active and with at least an average physical fitness level. Vigorous intensity is not power lifting or sprinting at Olympic pace. Activities of vigorous intensity include jogging, rowing, elliptical, fast dancing, and aerobics. The target HR reserve percentage is anything between 70%-85%. It is recommended that if you have a history of health-related issues or of middle age you get clearance from your doctor before performing vigorous activity. Vigorous intensity has similar benefits as moderate intensity but also comes with an increase in injury risk. It is recommended that a combination of both moderate and vigorous intensity be attained by the average adult to achieve maximum benefits from exercise.

What Now?

In conclusion, it should be known that intensity levels are of importance but they are not as intimidating as they sound. It is recommended by ACSM that a healthy adult get 30 – 60 minutes of moderate exercise or 20 – 60 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both, each day for ≥3 to 5 days per week. It is also recommended that if you only participate in moderate intensity, you do this 5 ≥ days a week and if you only participate in vigorous intensity, 3 ≥ days a week. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your current fitness level and your ability to perform vigorous intensity exercise. I hope you can take when was mentioned above and use it as a resource on your journey for optimal wellness.

 

Cardio Fitness for the Aged Person

One needs to understand the pressure put on the heart and lungs by overweight and lack of exercise. Both these are pertinent to people who are over 70 years because many tend to sit back, eat more, and indulge themselves in table games or, like me, on the computer. Hours of sitting is extremely unhealthy and one day a voice inside me told me to join a gym. This was completely unexpected and obeying that voice was the best thing.

That voice inside is well-known to me because of memory of reincarnation and link to the Universal Spirit, the real God. It has given me a job to do which is the reason I spend long hours at the computer. Over the last 30 years or so exercise involved only garden maintenance and walks, aside from house work.

Now the command was received and a local gym for women only received me with open arms. Aside from a fortnightly fee of $38, well affordable on a pension, there are PT classes that include one for healthy heart. It is held twice a week and is basically very enjoyable.

The exercises are simple and over the course of 45 minutes involve little weights, steps, and ball movements, such as throwing and catching. Sometimes there is also some square dancing type movements that help with balance. Stretching and flexing of muscles has become now a daily routine with me.

On the other days the gym provides all forms of equipment for those who want to work-out. For me the bike is my favourite although many use the walking and rowing machines. Other equipment allows stretching of muscles in the neck, back, and legs, which I also find useful.

Building up muscles that have disappeared over the years of inactivity is one of my achievements and being able to get up from the ground when I fall over is another. Since starting at this place my balance has improved to the point where there have been no falls at home whereas before I would trip and fall over anything in my path.

It is something for older people to consider. Don’t sit around and wait for death to catch up with you but enjoy yourself doing physical training and show the world what you are made of. The other benefit for me has been the great friends made while exercising – a real bonus.

 

Should You Do Cardio Exercise Before or After Strength Training?

A question that I am often asked and one that I have seen countless times on message boards across the Internet is whether a person should do cardiovascular exercise before or after a resistance training workout? Before going any further, I want to clearly state that it is my position that everyone should engage in a cardiovascular exercise of their choice for 5 to 10 minutes prior to any workout, be it a cardiovascular, resistance or flexibility workout. This is vitally important for several reasons as a proper, light-intensity cardiovascular exercise will warm up the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons that will be used more intensely in the following workout routine. Warming up with cardio also increases the core temperature slightly, increases circulation, slightly elevates the heart rate and helps to prepare the heart for an increased workload, it helps increase lung functioning and helps you to mentally focus in on the upcoming workout routine. The most important advantage to warming up with light intensity cardio is the substantial decrease in risk of injury. If the body is not properly warmed up, you are much more likely to experience an injury to a muscle, joint, ligament or tendon.

Now back to the question of whether you should do cardiovascular exercise prior to or after a resistance workout? There is no single best answer here and instead, you should evaluate your individual fitness goals. If you goal is to increase endurance, stamina or overall cardiovascular health, then I suggest doing your cardio workout prior to weight and resistance training. By doing the cardio workout first (after your 5 to 10 minute warm up of course), you are able to engage in a more intense cardio session, which possibly might include some intervals in which you really push up to your lactic acid threshold or VO2 max level. It is much less likely that you would be able to achieve high intensity cardiovascular work after you have engaged in a weight training session. So, in short if your goal is to increase cardiovascular fitness levels, you should perform cardio workouts prior to resistance training.

On the other hand, if your goal is fat and weight loss, a current mode of thinking in the fitness community is by doing a cardiovascular workout after a resistance workout, you increases the rate of fat metabolism (fat burn as it is often referred to as). The theory is that by engaging in an intense resistance workout, you will deplete the glycogen stores in the muscles during this workout. Once the glycogen stores are depleted, the body begins to utilize fats in the body for fuel. Endurance athletes have long know this, yet typically in order for this to occur in endurance training, an athlete has to continuously run for approximately 90 minutes to fully deplete the muscles of glycogen. Therefore, I remain somewhat skeptical that many average people working out are pushing themselves to the point of glycogen depletion during their resistance workout, particularly workouts of less than an hour in duration. For more advanced trainers, I do believe that it is possible and therefore can be an effective means of decreasing body fat perhaps for these individuals.

I tend to look at it like this, if you are engaging in a cardiovascular and resistance workout on the same day back-to-back, one or the other will be of a lesser intensity level naturally. Again, evaluate your personal fitness goals before deciding whether to do your cardio workouts before or after resistance training. If you are trying to build muscle, you want to have as much muscle strength as you can available for your resistance workouts, therefore doing cardio before weight training would be counterproductive to your muscle building goals. If you are looking to gain endurance or heart health, place your focus on the cardio workouts and do them first. Remember, regardless of which you end up doing first, it is more important to properly warm up with a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (even if it is only a brisk walk on the treadmill) in order to prepare the body for the workouts ahead, to get your head in the right space in order to bang out a productive workout, and most importantly to decrease the risk of injury. This debate won’t mean a thing if you get injured 5 minutes into a workout and are sidelined for the next 8 weeks rehabilitating an injury!