By Fawn Lofton
To achieve the total package, of a fit body you must have a well-rounded fitness routine, including strength training, cardio and flexibility. Incorporate these three components of fitness whether you are new to exercise or currently have a routine. Including all three into your exercise routine (including a balanced diet) will provide you with long-term benefits as well as short-term body toning and weight loss. And who doesn’t want that?
Strength training is the absolute best way to boost your metabolism, because it helps you build and maintain muscle. Lean muscle is active tissue, while fat just hangs there. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be.
Unfortunately, our metabolism slows down, every decade after our ’20s. The good news is that incorporating strength training and healthy eating habits into your life can keep your metabolism at its highest no matter what your age, making your body a fat-burning machine.
Cardiovascular exercise is key to reducing the risk for disease. These exercises help us de-stress and increase sex drive. They can also be fun. Try a group exercise class like spinning, kickboxing, step aerobics or dance. Or you can take to the great outdoors and enjoy what San Diego has to offer. There are many jogging and hiking trails, some which are also dog friendly.
I have many clients who say they want “sexy abs.” Others say they “do a ton of sit-ups every day” and “still have love handles.”
The first question I ask is, “What is your nutrition like, and do you incorporate cardio into your fitness program?”
You can do a million sit-ups a day, which will sculpt your abdomen, but in order to see the results, you must eat healthy and do cardiovascular exercises to peel the fat off.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following cardio routine for healthy adults under the age of 65:
- Moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Or, vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, three days a week.
- 60-90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary to lose weight or maintain weight.
Flexibility training or stretching provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise activity. The benefits of stretching are endless. Flexibility training, decreases risk of injury and muscle soreness, reduces lower back pain and improves posture. Without flexibility training you are missing an important part of overall health. Save seven to 10 minutes at the end of your workout to stretch, and your body will thank you.
For that total package have fun and mix up the three components. And remember to complement your program with a balanced diet.
—If you’re interested in learning more or are in need of a jumpstart, contact Fawn Lofton, Fitness Together Mission Hills, at (619) 794-0014.