While the amount of exercise you get every day is important, diversifying the types of exercise you’re doing is equally crucial.
As such, you’ll want to get familiar with these basic, essential exercise terms, so you can be sure you’re getting all these activities into your weekly workout regime.
Aerobic Exercise – AKA ‘Cardio’
Aerobic exercises are activities that require ongoing oxygen to the muscles being used. It strengthens and supports your body’s cardiovascular system, hence the shorthand ‘cardio’. Cardio boosts heart health in particular, but only if the exercises raise your heart rate to within the ideal range for your age (usually 70% to 80% of 220, minus your age). Examples of cardio exercises include running, speed walking, swimming, and cycling.
High-intensity interval training is a popular form of cardio exercise, where you alternate a few minutes of intense exercise with a few minutes of slow or no movement recovery.
Cross training is another thing you can do to diversify your cardio activity, allowing you to use different muscle groups, which helps avoid overuse injuries – not to mention keep your workouts from getting stale.
Anaerobic Exercise – AKA ‘Strength Training’
Strong muscles are healthy muscles, and they’re needed for virtually everything in your every day routine, even if you’re not thinking about it (i.e. you need muscle strength to get up off the couch).
Strength training, or weight training or resistance training, can work various muscle groups, and is anaerobic since it doesn’t require consistent oxygen.
Ideally you’ll engage in strength training every second or third day. Never train the same muscle groups on consecutive days – they need time to repair after each session.
‘Flexibility’ and ‘Balance’
For a well-rounded workout schedule, don’t exclude flexibility and balance exercises. Exercises that can be as simple as toe raises, flexibility and balance work can keep you limber and steady. Excellent forms of flexibility and balance exercises can be found in yoga and tai chi disciplines.
Try to incorporate them at least twice a week in your weekly workout schedule.
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