Pilates, barre, Crossfit, spin — the range of workout trends and options is ever-growing. Whether you’re on board with the latest craze or you rely on your own tried-and-true plan, there are three important parts of a well-rounded workout strategy. Read on to determine where your regimen falls.
The term “cardio” is thrown around a lot, but its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Cardiovascular exercise is any activity that raises your heart rate. Biking, walking, running, swimming laps, using an elliptical or stationary bike — they all fit into this category.
Regularly scheduled cardio can benefit you from head to toe. It burns calories and fat, helps strengthen your heart, decreases the chance of a stroke, helps control blood sugar, boosts your mood and improves sleep. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio a minimum of five times each week.
Strength training is any activity where muscles are worked using external weight, like free weights or kettlebells, or one’s own body weight, such as with push-ups or yoga. Strength training helps you develop strong bones and manages many chronic conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. These may include traditional activities that don’t require equipment, like abdominal crunches and leg squats, as well as equipment-based moves. Intense interval training programs like Crossfit and HIIT also fall into the strength training category.
Rest and Recover
You can go hard during each and every workout, but if you don’t give your body time to recover, you can lose out. Enjoy occasional rest days, and add active recovery to your schedule. Whether it’s a restorative yoga class or a relaxing walk around the neighborhood, the low-impact activity can help your mind and body recoup from taxing workouts.