January 10, 2022
You could train for years but if your training isn’t effective, you won’t be able to build strength, up your skills, and compete with people who have better training plans. You’ll just waste your time.
So in this article, the team at System2 will discuss the five crucial elements you need for effective fitness training. We’ll see how aerobic activity, resistance training, stretching, core exercises, and balance training all combine to help your train better.
If you want to ensure your training hours don’t go to waste, it’s important to understand what each of these is and what they do for your body. Let’s discuss that now.
Aerobic exercise, also known as endurance or cardio exercise, is a vital part of most fitness training programs.
Aerobic workouts make your lungs work faster and force you to breathe more deeply, maximizing the quantity of oxygen in your blood. It also causes your heart to beat faster, boosting blood flow to your lungs and muscles.
In this way, aerobic exercise strengthens your body’s cardiopulmonary (blood and oxygen transport) system. And this makes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels transport oxygen and blood throughout your body more efficiently.
The better your aerobic fitness is, the easier you’ll find it to complete physically demanding tasks like running or jogging.
Any physical activity that works large groups of muscles and raises your heart rate counts as aerobic exercise. Jogging, dancing, walking, cycling, playing soccer, swimming, and even mundane tasks like leaf raking are all examples of aerobic activity.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) suggests that most healthy adults should try to aim for at least 150 minutes of medium intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise each week. You can also try a combination of both.
These guidelines also recommend that you spread out aerobic activity throughout the course of a week.
It’s important to realize that some exercise is always better than no exercise. That’s why it’s preferable to break up activities into shorter durations of exercise than not to do them at all. You can try this quick 30 min home workout to get started.
Even a simple 15-20 minutes circuit of jump rope done 3 to 5 times a week at home is an easy way to incorporate aerobic activity into your routine.
You can even give high-intensity interval training (HIIT) a try. HIIT strength training exercises include alternating between short periods of intense activity (usually 30 seconds) and successive recovery periods (around 2-3 minutes) of lighter aerobic activity.
For instance, you could use the HIIT training method to spice up your routine morning walk by going for bursts of running after every few minutes of leisurely walking.
Strength training is another vital component of an effective fitness training program. Strength training — also known as resistance training — can help you enhance your muscular fitness, increase bone strength, and shed excess fat.
It can also make it easier to do everyday tasks like carrying around heavy items and lower your risk of osteoporosis.
Most experts and studies recommend strength training all the major groups of muscles in your body at least twice every week.
Many gyms offer equipment for strength training like weights and resistance machines. However, you don’t always have to invest in gym memberships or specialized equipment to incorporate strength training into your workout regime.
Homemade Do It Yourself (DIY) weights such as sand or water-filled cans and bottles can work just as well. Bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, abdominal crunches, squats, and pushups count too! Resistance bands are also an inexpensive option.
Flexibility and stretching activities are important to include in your fitness regime.
Stretching exercises boost your flexibility and make it easier to carry out everyday tasks. They can also help improve the range of motion of your major joints and encourage a better posture as a result.
Stretching before exercising can also help relieve built-up tension and stress in your muscles, warm them up, and make them more receptive to workouts. Stretching post-workout is also a good idea and may help prevent injury and soreness.
Ideally, you should always stretch when you workout but warm up by walking for a few minutes before stretching.
If you don’t exercise regularly, you should consider doing full-body stretching exercises at least 2-3 times every week to maintain flexibility. You can even use yoga to incorporate flexibility exercises into your daily routine.
Your core muscles (abdomen, pelvis, and lower back) do more than just connect the lower and upper body. They also support your spine and allow you to move your lower and upper body muscles more efficiently.
Core strength training exercises are integral to any effective fitness training program. Any exercise that causes you to use your body’s trunk without support counts as a core exercise. A few examples of core exercises include:
These effective workouts can be done at home without much if any equipment.
Balance exercises are an excellent way to help you maintain and improve your balance.
They’re particularly good for older individuals because our ability to balance often deteriorates with age. This can lead to falls (and fractures that naturally follow). Balance training, therefore, can help old adults maintain their independence and prevent falls.
However, it’s not just old individuals that benefit from balance training. Anyone can benefit from it, as it helps stabilize your trunk and core.
Try standing with your weight on one leg for increasing durations of time to improve your stability. You can even try single-leg squats if you’re up for it. Tai chi and some yoga activities are also good for improving your balance.
Whether you design your own fitness training regime or take help from a personal trainer, your workout plan should always include the five elements listed above.
It’s not necessary to fit each of them into every workout session, but incorporating them into your overall weekly routine will make your fitness program more effective (and tone out your body).