When Cardio Alone Isn’t Enough: Tips to Build a Personalized Health Routine
By Lauren Turinetti | March 18, 2018
Cardio is exercise specifically geared to increase the heart rate and works to improve cardiovascular health. Cardio is known for effectively burning fat and calories, so it is often the go-to form of exercise for individuals whose primary goal is to lose weight. For more serious athletes, cardio also increases stamina and endurance.
While cardio is one element in a healthy exercise regimen, it’s not enough to promote overall fitness. A healthy exercise regimen should include elements that also help to strengthen, tone, and increase flexibility as well. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to combine a good cardio workout with other activities that can create better fitness all around. Here are three tips to help build the best exercise program for you:
Mix it Up
While cardio is great for losing weight and building endurance, you also need to strengthen, tone, and increase flexibility. If you don’t tone as you lose weight, you’ll end up with large layers of loose, flabby skin. If you don’t increase flexibility, you will be more prone to injury. Mixing your cardio with weight training and flexibility-building exercises like Pilates or Yoga can help you get a fuller workout.
Make sure your cardio, toning, and strengthening goals are in line with your overall health goals. For instance, if you want to lose weight, the proportions of cardio to weight training will be different than if you are at an acceptable weight but just want to tone and strengthen. There are some basic core components that will remain the same regardless of your overall goals, but the proportions will be different based on those goals. Talk to a personal trainer who can help recommend a good starting point for your goals.
Even if you can’t afford to meet with a personal trainer once a week, you will go farther, faster if you work with a certified professional. A personal trainer can meet with you to help you develop a personalized exercise program that can help you meet and achieve your individual goals. They can also help you build a personalized nutritional program that works well for your lifestyle, individual nutritional needs, and exercise goals.
Just as there is truly no one-size-fits-all diet, there is also no one-size-fits-all exercise program. Even when it comes to cardio, some people prefer walking or running on a treadmill, while others enjoy getting out in nature. As the old saying goes, the best exercise is whatever you will do. Don’t worry about what burns the most calories or gets the best results, focus more on what you enjoy. That is what is most likely to work best for you.