Sports Taping : Fashion accessory or useful sports aid?
May 1, 2013
An introduction to exercise
March 5, 2015
An introduction to exercise
March 5, 2015
So you have decided to start exercising. That is awesome! Now that you have that decision made, the next decision is what kind of exercise routine will you need? Are you going to do "Cardio" or "Resistance" type exercises? Don't know the difference? Well, lets break them down with the pros, cons, and reasons you might want to consider each one.
Identify Your Exercise Goals
Knowing why you want to exercise is an important part of choosing an exercise program. If you want to lose weight, starting a weight lifting program 'might' not be the best choice. On the other hand, if you are looking to "bulk up", buying a pair of running shoes and starting to run five miles a day will probably also not help you achieve your goal.
Different types of exercises accomplish different things. So, before going out and buying that gym membership, you first need to ask yourself some important questions.
What do I hope to accomplish by exercising?
What type of exercises will help me accomplish that goal or goals?
Where can I best implement those types of exercises?
At the local gym?
At a park?
In my own home?
Once you know what you want to accomplish, it is time to start figuring out the answer to the second question. What types of exercises will help me accomplish that goal or goals? In the hopes of answering that question, lets look at the following two types of exercises and hopefully you will identify the direction you need to take.
Most exercises can be broken down into two different families.
Cardiovascular or Aerobic Exercises
Resistance or Anaerobic Exercises
Cardiovascular/Aerobic Exercise Routines
If your goal is to lose weight and increase your endurance, then you will probably want to choose this type of exercise. There is very little "resistance" in aerobic exercises. You will rarely use weights, and the exercise routine may last much longer than an anaerobic workout. In this type of exercise your heart begins to pump faster as you exert energy, causing your oxygen intake to increase. There is an overall benefit to your endurance, as well as maintaining a healthy heart. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercises can actually reduce your risk of diabetes as well.
Aerobic exercising can also help you to lose weight. As you exercise, your body begins converting carbohydrates in to glycogen for fuel. Once the carbs are gone, your body will turn to your fat reserves as an additional fuel source. As your body burns fat, it will result in a loss of weight over time. That is assuming you don't take in more calories per week than you are burning, but that is for another article.
Here are some examples of some "cardio" exercises.
Swimming (speak to our swimming coach if you require lessons)
Basically any activity that gets your heart rate up, and your breathing rate elevated is a good aerobic exercise. The increased heart rate and the fact that you are breathing harder is what increases your oxygen levels, and is where the terms "cardiovascular" and "aerobic" come from.
One important note is that you should be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any strenuous workouts to be sure you are in good enough health not to put yourself at risk.
Resistance/Anaerobic Exercise Routines
People use resistance training to grow physically stronger and build extra muscle. These exercise routines have a tendency to be more intense and in shorter bursts of time. The idea is to stress your body's muscles to the point of failure, in order to stimulate growth. As your muscles are fatigued, the brain will send a signal to your body to rebuild the damaged muscles bigger and stronger than before to accommodate the extra strain. At least that is the idea.
This is the type of exercise done by bodybuilders and professional weightlifters…not to mention prepubescent boys who are looking for a date.
Anyone looking to get stronger can do this type of exercise. However due to the fact that you will be putting your body under stress and because weights can be involved, it is better to start off easy, and always work out with either a partner, or Personal Trainer.
There are several types of resistance training that you can do. Here are a few different options.
Resistance band training
Bodyweight exercises (sometimes called calisthenics)
A Little of Both in Each
The truth is that while each type of exercise has a specific use, there is some of both types in each exercise. Walking is primarily an aerobic exercise, but also helps to strengthen the muscles in your legs. Lifting weights is primarily an anaerobic exercise, but does elevate your heart rate as well.
In fact, one of the exercise routines that is exploding around the world, is called Crossfit. This exercise routine combines aerobic exercises with resistance training to produce the best of both worlds.
Hopefully, you now have a basic idea of what each kind of exercise routine can help you to accomplish. If so, the only remaining question is the last one. Where will you work out? Since we have answered all the other questions for you, I will leave the answer to the last one up to you!