Resistance Training – What is It?

Resistance training is any type of exercise that requires you to contract your muscles in order to push, pull, lift, or throw an object or weight. The external resistance can come in many forms including dumbbells, resistance tubing, your own body weight, or even your kids. This allows resistance training to be tailored to your needs, goals, and available equipment and space.

Resistance training will look very different for each individual based on their goals. Most resistance training programs will accomplish a couple different things but will have one main goal in mind. Some of the different goals of resistance training are to increase strength, muscular endurance, mass, or to tone up.

There are many positive benefits to resistance training.  For starters, it improves our bone density, which in turn helps us fight problems such as osteoporosis.  No brittle bones here! Resistance training also increases strength and improves our metabolism. From my own personal experience, I have also noticed that strength training increases my energy levels and improves my mood. For me, this form of exercise is a great stress reliever.

There is much to consider when trying to decide on a resistance training program. How much time do you have or are you willing to devote to training? What equipment is available for you to use? What are your goals? It is important to learn proper technique in order to get the most out of program and reduce the risk for injury. Resistance training really can be very simple and not require a lot of equipment, time, or space. That may mean you have to get a little creative, but that also makes it fun!

Cardio Training – What is It?

 

What is cardio training? Well, cardio stands for cardiovascular, which mainly involves our heart. Our heart is a muscle and needs to be worked out just like any other muscle so that it will stay strong. Our heart is responsible for pumping blood, which carries oxygen and other things to the rest of our body. Without this oxygen, our bodies can’t produce the needed energy to make our bodies move.

Anything that raises your resting heart rate can be considered a form of cardio training. Your resting heart rate is defined as simply the number of times your heart beats in a one minute period. Walking, running, swimming, and bicycling are all examples of cardio training.

Cardio training is important for a number of reasons. As mentioned before, it strengthens your heart.  When your heart is strong, it functions more efficiently.  Cardio training also strengthens your lungs since your heart and lungs work together to provide your muscles with the needed oxygen. Cardio workouts also help you burn calories and boost your metabolism. All of these are positive benefits to cardio training.

Cardio training can vary from something very low impact and low intensity to high impact and high intensity. Low impact workouts are easier on your joints and great for beginners. An example of a low impact workout would be a walk at a slow to moderate pace. Running and sprinting are examples of higher impact workouts. The higher the intensity the workout the more calories you will burn.

The fun thing about cardio training is the variety. You can constantly change up your cardio workouts to avoid boredom. It is also a great opportunity to spend some time with a close friend, spouse, or a child. I have found that walking with a friend is a great time to visit and catch up. It also seems to make the workout go quicker! That’s always a good thing.