For years we have been told the best way to lose weight and stay in shape is to do aerobic exercise. Although that’s great for your heart, current research shows that strength, balance and flexibility training may be the key to weight management and improving your quality of life.
The average American gains 30 pounds between the ages of 20 and 50. At the same time we lose 15 pounds of muscle, which means we end up with 45 more pounds of fat. Since muscle tissue is very metabolically active and fat is not, we end up burning fewer calories. This, and many other signs of aging, are largely preventable with the right exercise program and a diet that includes plenty of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
There are 4 components of a balanced exercise program:
Aerobic exercise, also referred to as cardio, strengthens your heart and lungs. I recommend you include 30 – 60 minutes of cardio at least 3 days per week.
In addition to cardio, my programs focus on the other 3, often overlooked, components of a well- rounded fitness program
- Strength training
- Balance training
Why do strength training?
- Increases lean muscle mass
- Increases your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories all day long, even while you’re sleeping
- Helps you lose weight and keep it off
- Strengthens your bones and your heart
- Makes everyday activities easier
Why do balance training?
Balance is the key to all functional movement and involves multiple neurologic pathways. It not only helps prevent injuries, it allows you to move more freely and steadily in daily activities and in sports and also keeps your mind sharp.
Flexibility is important in preventing injury and allowing you a greater range of motion, so you can move more freely.
I recommend you do strength, balance and flexibility exercises 2-4 times per week. Having an active lifestyle and being fit does not require an hour in the gym every day.
Strength and balance training can be divided into 2 or 3 shorter segments during the day. And remember that a short work out is better than no workout at all.