Fitness Strategies and Benefits

by Renee Kennedy

Stretching:

Concentrates on improving flexibility. Stretching requires no fitness equipment. Types of stretching include Yoga and Pilates. Whether you decide to stretch before, after or during your exercise routine, there is no doubt that stretching should be included every time you exercise. It keeps your body agile while engaging in any type of resistance or cardio training routine.

Benefits of stretching:

  1. improves flexibility
  2. increases range of motion
  3. promotes relaxation
  4. improves performance and posture
  5. reduces stress on your body and reduces risk of injury for any resistance training routines or athletic performance

Strength Training, Weight Training or Resistance Training:

Concentrates on improving muscles. Strength training or weight training may require you to lift free weights or use equipment that makes you lift weight. It may also be called resistance training because you are putting resistance on your muscles to improve them. In resistance training you may use tools like rings and tubes rather than weights. Some exercises also allow you to use your own body as resistance. For instance, abdominal crunches can be part of a strength or resistance training routine. Strength training should be included in an exercise routine.

The benefits of resistance and strength training:

  1. helps you lose weight in two ways: improves your muscle
    mass and increases your energy expenditure, both make you to
    burn more calories.
  2. helps you tone and look better even if you are not overweight.
  3. gives you more strength and endurance
  4. increases bone density
  5. has cardiovascular benefits
  6. may help reduce risks of injury in athletes

Cardiovascular or Aerobic Training:

Aimed at improving your heart muscle and cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular training or aerobic training may be accomplished in several ways and you don't need to spend any money. Walking, jogging, skipping rope, boxing, dancing, riding a bike - any of these qualify as aerobic exercise. Cardiovascular training should be an essential element of your
fitness routine.

Benefits of cardiovascular training:

  1. strengthens your heart
  2. helps you lose weight and reduce fat
  3. increases your endurance

Interval Training or Anaerobic Training:

Aimed at improving aerobic endurance for athletes. Interval training is characterized by repetitions of heavy exercise with a recovery period following each repetition. For instance, you might sprint for 10 seconds and then follow that sprint with a two minute recovery jog. Then you repeat the sprint/jog routine for about 20 minutes. During the sprinting you are producing a state of oxygen debt. This can also be called anaerobic training because you are out of oxygen. Circuit training is also a form of interval training.

Benefits of Interval Training:

  1. improves athletic endurance
  2. strengthens the heart muscle
  3. improves the lungs or the ability to take in oxygen

Cross Training:

Aimed at improving aerobic endurance, strength and flexibility in athletes. Can also help fight boredom for anyone who exercises. Type of training that requires you to do two or more types of exercise either within the same routine or in successive routines. For example, you may stretch every day for flexibility, lift weights two days a week for strength training, and ride a bike once a week
for aerobic endurance.

Circuit Training:

Type of interval training aimed at losing weight and inches. Circuit training has been made popular by places like Curves and Ladies Workout Express. In circuit training you have several pieces of strength training equipment interspersed with aerobic equipment like steps or jogging pads. It has all the benefits of both cardiovascular and strength training workouts.

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