What type of exercise is best for me?
There’s a lot of information out there about what you should and shouldn’t do to get fit.
We often hear comments like “I need more cardio” and “cardio is the hardest part for me”. What we don’t hear a lot about is why someone thinks they need more cardio. We encourage women to ask themselves – What are some realistic fitness goals for me and what is the best method of exercise to help me reach those goals? In setting your own personal fitness goals, it is good to know exactly what cardio is.
So, what is “Cardio” anyway, and what does it do for me?
Cardio refers to aerobic exercise. It is any exercise that is designed to improve the amount of oxygen in your blood. Typically, people think of activities such as running, spinning, aerobics, etc. as cardio activities.
But, did you know, cardio can be many other activities, including lifting weights, doing burpees, jumping rope, swinging kettlebells, and so much more? That’s right, cardio doesn’t have anything to do with the mode of exercise you are performing. A cardio workout is anything that moves you into an aerobic state of work. This means that your body is using oxygen to help provide energy to fuel your workout. It doesn’t need to be your classic long run or bike ride.
In fact, the downside of most forms of traditional steady-state cardio, is that you ONLY expend calories while you’re exercising. Once you stop, you quickly go back to your normal metabolic rate. You also haven’t toned those muscles (like your core) that aren’t working when you are doing your cardio workout.
Wait, Strength training is cardio too?
Strength training, obviously, builds muscle, and more muscle helps you burn more calories — even when you’re doing nothing but sitting on the couch. The body’s adaptation to the stress of strength training is to add more lean mass (muscle). Lean mass increases your resting metabolic rate, which accounts for over 80% of your daily calories burned. The more lean you are, the more calories you burn.
Alwyn Cosgrove, co-author of the book “The New Rules of Lifting” (a book we recommend) explains it this way: “Muscles are “thirsty” from a metabolic perspective. The more muscle you have, the more fuel you are constantly burning.” This is the advantage strength training offers if your goal is to get strong, lean and change your body.
The high intensity interval training we do at Artemis is designed to be more effective because they are total body workouts that build muscles, get your heart rate soaring (yes, cardio!) and burn calories long after you have finished your workout (called the Afterburn effect).
If your goal is to change your body into a more lean, strong and overall fit woman by increasing your metabolism –strength training is the way to go.
[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Written By: Cate & Kendra of Artemis Fitness[/typography]
Kendra Sowers and Cate MacLachlan are certified personal trainers and co-owners of Artemis Fitness in South Burlington. Artemis is an all-womens training center, founded 2 years ago with the intention of providing a gym designed to help women set and meet their fitness goals in an environment that is safe, supportive and nonjudgmental.
For more information on Artemis Fitness or Cate and Kendra, please click here: http://artemisfitnessvt.com