(CARLSBAD, CA) – After a long day at work or rushing kids around town, it may take all your will-power to hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes, then crash onto the couch with a frozen dinner in one hand and your remote in the other. If this routine resembles your workout pattern, then pat yourself on the back for including some fitness into your daily lifestyle. Then, take a moment to examine if you are truly getting all the benefits of a well-rounded fitness program.
An effective fitness routine should include these three magic words: cardio, strength, and stretch. If any of these components is missing, then you are shortchanging your body. Take a look at the benefits of these three fitness must-haves:
Cardio – Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, plain and simple. Whether you are looking to lose or maintain weight, or just cultivate a healthy heart, then cardio is your prescribed regimen. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends working out for 20-60 minutes, three to five days per week, at 65-90% of your maximum heart rate. Of course, cardio has benefits beyond the calorie burn. When you increase your heart rate, your brain releases endorphins into your bloodstream, which give you increased energy and an improved mood.
Strength – Strength training stokes the fires of your metabolic furnace. When you add resistance training to your exercise regimen, you increase your body’s muscle mass, which consequently raises your resting metabolic rate. A higher resting metabolism means that you’ll burn more calories doing the same activities that you’ve always done! Strength training also builds your resistance to injury. An ACSM study found that women who lifted weights regularly for seven months were five times less likely to suffer a lower-body stress fracture than those who were less attentive to strength training.
Stretch – Flexibility is vital to many sports, such as gymnastics and sprinting. But, if you haven’t done a cartwheel since second grade, then you may think that stretching isn’t necessary for you. After all, it doesn’t burn as many calories as cardiovascular exercise, nor does it tone muscles like strength training. Unfortunately, if you are neglecting the stretch portion of your workout, you may be placing your body at risk for injury. Stretching increases your range of motion for everyday tasks. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to bend and rotate your body to pick-up crumbs from the floor or maneuver grocery bags into the car.
As you embark upon the journey of adding cardio, strength, and stretch into your workout, remember these tips from Judi Sheppard Missett, founder and CEO of Jazzercise, Inc.
If you can’t make it to an exercise class, don’t throw in the towel on breaking a sweat! Try a brisk walk around your neighborhood or jump rope during the commercials of your favorite show.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to strength training, book a few sessions with your gym’s trainer or join a Personal Touch class at your local Jazzercise. Once you learn the basics of safe and effective movements, then you can maximize your workouts on your own.
Don’t try intense stretches prior to your workout. It’s better to utilize simple warm-ups early in your workout, and then engage in deeper stretches when your muscles are warm.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.