Fitness training focuses on strengthening and conditioning the body, improving balance and posture and boosting flexibility. It also helps people stay active and reduce the risk of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers. Fitness experts recommend incorporating aerobic and strength-training exercises into a regular workout routine for maximum benefits.
Aerobic exercise, often referred to as cardio, is the foundation of most fitness training programs. This type of activity causes you to breathe harder and faster, which in turn boosts oxygen flow to the muscles and lungs. The more efficient your cardiovascular system, the easier it is to perform daily physical tasks.
Strength training targets the muscle groups of your arms, legs, core and back. The best strength-training exercises, such as squats and bench presses, engage multiple muscle groups at once to maximize the number of reps you can do in each set. Experts also cite dumbbell lateral raises, dead lifts and pull-ups as effective, time-efficient exercises that can be done at home or in the gym.
Balance training, often combined with a yoga routine, is good for beginners as it strengthens the core. It improves the ability to balance and stand on one foot for longer periods of time, helping with everyday activities such as walking up stairs and carrying groceries.
Adding cardio and strength-training exercises to your workouts is important, but so is varying the types of activities you do. This is known as cross-training and it can help prevent boredom, as well as the risk of injury. Incorporating biking or water exercises into your routine can provide variety, while a workout that involves walking on the treadmill and using the rowing machine at the same time provides you with different types of cardio training.
Aim to spend at least 30 minutes in the gym four or five days a week to get the most benefit from your fitness training. Plan to do your cardio exercises separate from your weight-training sessions, as doing both at the same time may lead to joint or muscle injuries.
A trainer can teach you how to do each exercise, help you determine the correct weights to use and spot you as you do more challenging exercises. They can also offer encouragement and motivation to help you stick with your program, especially if you find it difficult to motivate yourself on your own. In addition, trainers can also provide you with the proper nutrition guidance to ensure that your diet is supporting your exercise and lifestyle goals. They can also help you find and train for competitive events like a Tough Mudder or local race to give your training a boost.