A balanced exercise program typically includes four types of training; (1) cardiovascular, (2) strength, (3) core and (4) flexibility. Cardio for heart health, strength for muscle size and bone density, core for functionality, and flexibility for injury prevention and ease of movement.
Most people however, spend upwards of 75% of their exercise time on a single, preferred component!
Body builders lift weights almost exclusively. Yoga enthusiasts focus primarily on flexibility. Runners are the kings and queens of cardio. Those seeking a six-pack do endless crunches. I do it too; despite knowing how important stretching is, I usually rush it at the end of my strength workouts.
While there’s nothing wrong with favoring one type of training over another, athletes (meaning anyone who moves their body regularly, including you and I!) whose programs are balanced tend to perform better, for longer and with fewer side-lining injuries than those who stick to training only a single fitness component.
By all means, continue with your preferred type of training (studies show you’re much more likely to do it if you enjoy it!), but be honest with yourself and think about the training components that you’re neglecting. Aim for a more even balance of the four, perhaps reducing the frequency of your staple workout to just 60% of your training time and filling in the remainder with a combination of the other three.
My fitness goals for the fall include improving my flexibility and increasing my core strength. I’ll be adding a weekly yoga class to my schedule and committing one of my weight room sessions to functional core training.
Look for a longer, leaner, ‘bendier’ me by Christmas!
It’s Fitness Friday Blog Hop day again. Click on the image below and check out some really cool fitness blogs!
What’s your favorite type of training? Are you a die-hard runner or a gym rat?
What can you do to balance out your fitness routine?