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Cardiovascular and Strength Training Exercises for Weight Loss

Cardiovascular and Strength Training Exercises for Weight Loss

Undoubtedly, cardiovascular training and strength training exercises form the cornerstones for all fitness programs for effective weight loss. While cardiovascular exercises burn the calories, strength training exercises maintain muscle tone. Of course, the other three elements of a well-rounded fitness program, namely, flexibility (stretching), core stability and balance training exercises are also important.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardio exercises obviously improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, which consists of the heart, blood vessels and the blood itself. The heart pumps more blood into the blood vessels, thus, improving the distribution and absorption of oxygen together with the nutrients into the cells, tissues and muscles of the body. Metabolic wastes are also removed from these cells, tissues and muscles so as to keep the entire body as healthy as possible.

There are many benefits of cardio exercises that can be directly and indirectly correlated to effective weight loss. First, direct correlation to weight loss is possible because cardio exercises burn the stored calories and fats in the body. Keep in mind the principle of burning more calories than the amount consumed in this case.

Second, cardio exercises lessen the feelings of physical and mental stress in an individual. High levels of stress have been linked to weight gain because stress releases hormones that make an individual eat more – emotional eating, as it is called.

Third, cardio exercises promote better mood and sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep releases hormones that stimulate the appetite and increase the feelings of not being full after a meal.

Of course, cardio exercises also promote a healthier appearance. You will then be more motivated to stick to your fitness plan.

The best thing about cardio exercises is that no gym equipment is necessary to take advantage of the above mentioned benefits. Experts recommend brisk walking, jogging, climbing the stairs, riding a bike and hiking as the best cardio exercises – no treadmill, stairclimber and row machine necessary. Stick to 30 minutes per day to gain the most benefit from cardio exercises.

Strength Training Exercises

Often, strength training is overlooked when losing weight. But this should not be as muscle mass should be maintained during weight loss lest you look floppy with sagging skin from the lost weight on areas like the belly, arms and thighs. Basically, strength training tones the muscles for a better appearance.

There are other benefits to strength training as it applies to weight loss, too. These benefits include:

• Increased metabolic rate and calorie burning potential, both of which are essential in fast weight loss
• Improved joint flexibility essential in many cardiovascular exercises
• Enhanced posture, balance and coordination, traits especially useful in daily life as well as in performing the exercise movements

The most common types of strength training exercises require resistance from weights, machines and bands. However, even body weight exercises are excellent ways to benefit from strength training sans the costs of gym memberships and gym equipment. Static squats, abdominal crunches and push-ups are excellent examples of body weight strength training exercises.

These two types of exercises speed up the weight loss results when combined in the proper manner. You can either use alternating days or use zones for combination's. Just remember that whatever fitness plan being adopted, it will succeed in combination with a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.


Source by Ho Shiu

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