Five Types of Fitness Training

Five Types of Fitness Training

Be smart when working out by targeting key areas of the body to achieve and maintain physical fitness. Cardiovascular exercise is vital to build endurance. Add strength training to support both muscle and bone integrity. Move more efficiently with flexibility and balance exercises. Core training builds on your strength and flexibility skills for optimum health. Before beginning any exercise regimen, have your doctor determine if you have any physical limitations.

The best cardiovascular exercises (also known as aerobic exercises) boost your heart rate to its target heart zone, where you burn calories and fat the most efficiently. A 150-pound person can burn almost 500 calories in an hour by performing high-impact aerobics like running or jumping rope. By performing low-impact aerobics such as walking or cycling, a 150-pound person can burn over 400 calories in an hour. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity per week, spreading that time evenly throughout the week.

For your muscles and bones to gain the most from strength training, focus on resistance training with weights or exercise bands and weight-bearing routines like stair-climbing and aerobic dancing. Strength training supports weight-loss goals, with a vigorous hour of lifting weights burning over 400 calories for a 150-pound person. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends performing muscle strength-training activities of moderate to high intensity at least twice per week. Perform warm-up exercises to reduce muscle injury risk and alternate strength training days to give your muscles time to recover.

Being flexible makes you more efficient while playing sports and in performing daily tasks such as housework. Strengthen your flexibility by performing dynamic stretching and taking your joints and muscles through a full range of motion. Static stretching requires holding a position for up to 30 seconds, performed up to five times on each side of the body. Participate in a stretching routine twice weekly, focusing on muscles that commonly suffer from tightness like chest, calves, hips and hamstrings.

Having good balance supports efficient body movement in sports and daily activities, reducing your fall risk. Improve your balance by starting with weight shifts and then moving to single leg stances. Your goal is to be able to stand on one leg for at least 20 seconds unsupported. Tai chi and yoga strengthen flexibility and balance skills through weight shifts, sustained poses and dynamic stretching.

Your core is centered around your trunk and supports efficient upright body movements and proper posture while working out. Exercises targeting your abdomen, back, pelvis, hips and shoulders are an integral part of core training. Core exercises go beyond abdominal crunches to include front and side planks, lunges and glute bridges. Incorporate stability balls into your fitness routine as an added challenge to your core muscles. Building a strong core allows you to engage in physical activity more effectively.