Cardiovascular Training: Consists of any exercise that increases your heart rate for a sustained period of time, such as running to lose weight. Most experts agree that raising your heart rate to 60%-80% of your maximum heart rate is optimal. Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. So the maximum heart rate for a 40-year old would be 220-40=180, and 60% to 80% of that would be 108 to 144 beats per minute.
A simple way to tell if you’re working out at a level that will improve your cardiovascular fitness is the “talk test”: if you cannot reasonably carry on a conversation during your workout, you’re working too hard. On the other hand, too much chatting and not enough focus on your training can interfere with a good workout, so keep that in mind.
A heart rate monitor is an excellent tool to gauge the intensity of your workout. Just fit the strap around your chest (under your shirt) and slip on the wrist display to track your heart rate throughout your entire workout. Some heart rate monitors can even display the calories burned during your workout and track past workouts.
Muscle and Strength Training: Increasing your muscle mass will not only make you tight and shapely, it will also help you lose weight by burning additional calories while at rest. In addition, weight-bearing exercises increase bone density, which will help keep you active and mobile as you age.
Strength training for women tends to get a bad rap. Many women think that lifting weights will cause them to bulk up and become “un-feminine.” This could not be further from the truth. Women typically do not have enough testosterone to put on the massive bulk that you see on bodybuilders.
And those women bodybuilders that you see? They spend hours at the gym every day, and their diet is impeccable. Unless your goal is to be as fit and muscular as they are, it will never happen with your average workout routine.
So stop neglecting your muscles! Click here to learn how to exercise your muscles wth a simple workout routine.
Flexibility Training: Flexibility training is simply another way to say “stretching.” An individual that stretches regularly will have a greater range of motion and a decreased risk of injury. Their posture will be better, and they will have a lower incidence of lower back pain.
Dynamic stretches – stretches that involve movement, momentum and active muscular effort to stretch a muscle – help to prepare your body for a workout. Side bends, arm swings and trunk rotations are good stretches to gently warm up the body and stretch muscles at the same time.
Stretching after exercise will help reduce muscle soreness. Always be sure your muscles have had a chance to warm up before stretching. Slowly stretch all your muscles, holding each stretch for 15-20 seconds.
Working all three types of fitness training into your workouts will give you a body that’s strong, lean and flexible – and ready for that little black dress!