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Variety Is The Spice Of Fitness.

Feb 28, 2019

Keep Your Heart Healthy With These Workouts

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. This is also applicable to your exercise routine. If you do the same type of workout day after day, week after week, not only will it be boring; you might start losing some fitness.

Why? If you focus on only one type of exercise (say, running) you will build great endurance and strong calves, but you might have incredibly weak hips, poor mobility, and no upper body strength. This scenario extends in pretty much every direction — stick to one type of workout and you’ll have an imbalance in the body, which can lead to injury or overtraining.

Having a well-rounded workout routine will both challenge and strengthen your inner-athlete. Here are five types of workouts you should add to your routine to keep your heart healthy and both your body and mind happy.

 

Steady State Cardio Training

Pretty much anything that gets your heart pumping above your resting heart rate is considered cardio. So yes, steady state cardio doesn’t have to be running — it also includes power walking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and hopping on the elliptical. Steady state cardio training is pretty straight forward, and a great way to build endurance and maintain a healthy heart. Simply move at a pace and intensity that you can maintain for at least 30 minutes; this should feel manageable but not too easy.

 

Weight training

Getting a good workout in on the gym floor can have numerous benefits, from strengthening muscle endurance and muscle strength to keeping your heart healthy while your body lean. While many people might be wary of “getting big” in the weight room, you can approach weight training in many ways to fit your style of exercise. Some folks like to lift heavy with shorter reps, while others like to lift lighter weights while upping the numbers of reps and sets. The opportunities are endless when it comes to getting a workout in; you can strengthen anything from your core to your shoulders, quads to your back, with weights.

 

Yoga

Flexibility goes far beyond being able to ace the V sit-n-reach test. While flexibility might not seem as important as other types of exercises, stretching and flexibility routines can increase your range of motion and give space to your fitness goals — helping you stay injury-free while strengthening key muscles and ligaments.

One of the most common (and fun!) types of flexibility workouts is yoga. While the type of yoga you can do runs the gamut from vinyasa and hot yoga to restorative Yin and grounding Kundalini, all practices focus on integrating body and breath through stretches, isometric bodyweight exercises, and moving meditation.

 

High-Intensity Interval Training

For a type of cardio workout that is more intense than steady-state, consider HIIT (high-intensity interval training). These types of workouts will be shorter, more powerful, and focus on fat burning. Typically, HIIT intervals around broken up into work-to-rest ratios, where you do something intense — like sprints or pushups — for a certain amount of time, followed by rest, followed by the exercise once more. The nice thing about HIIT is that you can experiment and change up the types of movements, numbers of intervals, and lengths of work and rest, to push yourself to your edge. In general, your heart rate should be elevated to about 70% of your maximum heart rate.

 

Mobility Work

Another type of flexibility workout that’s important for your muscles is mobility work. If you want to release tight muscles, massage the fascia, and increase your range of motion, then you should consider foam rolling, using devices like a lacrosse or tennis ball to roll sore spots, and doing certain stretches and exercises that target your hips, glute, and hamstrings. All of these types of stretches and movements will help with deep tissue release, and you can do ‘em either before or after your typical workout routine.

 

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