Is Your Cardio Class Enough For A Total Fitness Program?

By PEERtrainer Health and Fitness Team
Aerobics Defined

Aerobic means “with oxygen”.  Cardio or Aerobic exercise is any activity that relies on the lungs to provide the oxygen to perform the activity.  During aerobic exercises the lungs are able to supply adequate amounts of oxygen for the activity. Common aerobics activities are walking, running, treadmill, and stationary bikes.

Anaerobic exercise occurs when the body cannot supply the amount of oxygen necessary to complete the activity.  During an anaerobic exercise the activity is so demanding that it uses oxygen faster than your body can provide it.  Weight lifting, singles tennis and body resistance training are good examples of anaerobic exercises. 

Aerobic exercise places demand on the heart, lungs, and muscles, which is why it's often thought of as a complete fitness program. 

Benefits of Cardio

Consistent aerobic exercise helps control weight, hypertension, and can even help reduce cholesterol.  It’s also a great way to prevent diabetes or get diabetes under control.  Aerobic exercise helps your body’s immune system fight allergies, and disease and aerobics can even help boost your mood and improve your sense of well-being. 

Is It Enough? 

Using cardio as your only means of losing weight and achieving total fitness creates a road for potential plateaus and failure.  In the beginning, you’ll most likely see immediate results, especially if you have not been very active for a long period time. 

Once the initial phase has passed, your body becomes adjusted to the aerobic routine and it becomes much harder to progress.  The heart and lungs become accustomed to the level of activity within your exercise routine and the body quickly adapts. 

As the body adapts losing more weight and getting toned slows and you reach a plateau that seems unbeatable.  What is the solution?

For a total fitness program you must have both aerobic activity and anaerobic activity.  That’s why many fitness professionals and fitness trainers now recommend interval training as the optimum method for weight loss and body maintenance. 

Interval training consists of rotating between short episodes of both aerobics and strength or resistance training.   Strength and resistance training builds muscle.  As muscles become stronger, the body is able to burn more calories, and perform more tasks with less stress on the body. 

In short, by combining both types of exercise you get the total body workout you need for total health and fitness.  To get the most form your exercise routines combine both aerobics and strength training for a total workout.

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