Do you like to call yourself physically fit? Do you think your workout program gives you everything you need? Most of the time? Read on to learn more…
In order to have a well rounded fitness routine we need to make sure we are working every component of our overall fitness. As we learned last week, this means including exercises that work your cardio respiratory system, muscle conditioning, flexibility and maintaining a healthy body composition.
We are so busy and overwhelmed nowadays, that sometimes it’s a miracle to make it to the gym at all, let alone having to concentrate on making sure you have a whole body workout routine. So often, we make it to the gym with hardly a moment to spare and just hop on a treadmill for 30 minutes, or go straight to the weight room to work on our bench press or squat routine.
Are you really fit though if you’re just going on the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes a few times a week? The answer, is most often no. The cardio will take care of your cardio respiratory fitness and most likely help maintain a healthy body composition. But what about your strength and endurance? And your flexibility? Granted, any and all exercise is good and everytime you log exercise into your exercise bank you are helping your body fight off many health risks and diseases including high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease. But to help your body function to its optimal potential, you have to make sure you work every part of your fitness routine.
Flexibility exercises should be done 5-7x/week. Stretch all your major muscle groups and any muscle/muscle group you work a lot in your physical activity routine. Stretching should never be painful, only to the point of tension. Flexibility exercises will help you prevent injuries and help make activities of daily living easier.
Muscle conditioning should be done a minimum of twice per week on non consecutive days. If you’re pressed for time and looking for overall health benefits, then start with a full body routine of about 6-8 exercises of about 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. Muscle conditioning helps prevent osteoporosis (especially important for us ladies!) and will help you maintain a healthy body composition.It will give you that extra kick of energy for your day and help you be ready for whatever life has to throw at you!
Cardio respiratory fitness is important for a healthy heart. Exercise that is continuous and that uses many muscle groups at once will give you the healthy heart benefits your body craves. Running, roller blading, dancing, swimming and biking are all great ways to get in your cardio exercise for the day.
Now that you know more… do you think your exercise routine is giving you everything it can? Can you truly call yourself fit? Congratulations if you can! But for the rest of us… what changes do you have to make to really get everything you can out of your time at the gym? Is it time to re-evaluate how you use your time at the gym?
Good luck with all your fitness goals and happy exercising!