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Some of us are “dog people” and others are “cat people.” Likewise, fitness devotees prefer either cardio or strength training. But of course balanced fitness calls for both – and the Mayo Clinic agrees with this age-old premise. Much like peanut butter and jelly, a pumping heart and pumping iron are just better together – and ultimately more satisfying.
You can match up the right cardio workout with the appropriate weight-training routines, once you have your basic goal(s) in place. For example, let’s use weight loss:
Step 1: Pinpoint your personal motivation. Why do you want to lose weight? Be specific, with a statement such as: “I want to look amazing for my high school reunion” or “I need to be a better role model for my children.” The motivator becomes your carrot and your blueprint for success. Post motivational words and/or pictures where you can see them daily to support your goal.
Step 2: Pick your activities — and remain flexible. A successful, effective cardio fitness plan can draw its cardio training from two or more activities. For example, when you run or swim, or cycle or take a cardio class, you’re helping to avoid the plateau effect. This occurs when your workouts become easy and you fail to hit your goals.
For best results, change up your cardio workout types and amounts about every six weeks. If you’re cycling, for example, and weight loss is slowing (and your diet hasn’t changed), try increasing your speed, peddling longer or adding in a cardio-intensive fitness class.
Step 3: Don’t slack. You may think, “How can I possibly have time to do cardio when I already have [work, family commitments, shopping] to do? No worries: Studies have shown that ten-minute bursts of exercise throughout the day do make a difference. Lucky for you, FitnessBuilder offers a few great options, including the three-workout Quick Calorie Burner. You can alternate this exercise with the 10-Minute Energy Booster.
To see results, you’ll need to commit for several solid weeks of scheduled activity. Log and track sessions – as you do using FitnessBuilder – so you have some data to work with, should you get stalled. You can update your time, intensity or distance goals to keep those numbers changing for the better. And once you’ve reached all of your milestones, you’ll be motivated to set new ones.
As always, feel free to share your success stories with us here – all the stats and nitty-gritty details. It’s great motivation for everyone.
Pumping up your pulse is easier than ever with FitnessBuilder on your Apple Watch, iPhone, Android device, or on the Web. PumpOne’s complete workout guidance and tracking tools include over 1,000 workouts tailored to your fitness goals and the ability to create your own sessions from more than 7,000 exercise images and videos. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or sign up at PumpOne.com.