The Best Workout Routins Have Cardio and Weight Training

Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your overall fitness, or just look smoking, the best workout routine includes both cardio and weight resistance training. Cardio activity such as running, biking, rowing, or getting on the elliptical machines gets your heart rate elevated, improves your lung capacity, and torches calories. Conversely, weight training stresses the more fast twitch muscle fibers and builds muscle tissue, leaving you toned and stronger. Together they create a powerful fitness routine, but if you rely only on one or the other, your workout routine may leave you wanting for more.

While sustained cardio activity burns more calories immediately and will help you lose pounds and body fat, weight training kick starts your metabolism so much so that you will still be at an elevated calorie burning rate for hours after you have finished exercising. This is why you may end up burning more calories throughout the entire day after a weight session than if you had done only cardio. Your metabolism will be higher over the course of more hours. Still, you can't only do weight training as the calorie after burn effect of an elevated metabolism will only take you so far. In order to successfully shed pounds of fat you need to do enough cardio exercise to burn the necessary calories.

Doing at least 30 minutes of cardio in your target heart rate zone five days a week and then supplementing that with three days of weight training will not only yield you the weight loss results you want but will get you in the best possible shape.

Bookmark and Share

Become a member of the Nation's fit

As society has continued to evolve, science and technology has too, creating a world where people are hooked up to the latest cellphones like extensions of themselves, upgrading to the latest in home entertainment systems, lusting after the fastest cars, and generally looking to improve their lives in every imaginable aspect. The nation has adopted the theory that anything and everything that can make our lives better must be had, and along with that the sense of instant gratification must follow suit.

As society has instilled that everything worth having must come swiftly or not at all, all too many apply that same outlook to their fitness routines. How many millions of Americans have dutifully set out to finally get in shape, lose those pounds, use their gym membership and finally etch out that Adonis-like body lurking withing them, only to lose interest and quit a few weeks or months later? The truth is, like a bad marriage, people are more likely to give up on their pursuit of fitness because it seems too tedious and they aren't getting the results they want as quickly as they want.

There is always the honeymoon phase of the relationship; when the program is fresh and new. The new Nike shoes you've purchased specifically for going to the gym or running on the treadmill are all white and cushy. You buy some nice clothes, outfit yourself with the latest pedometer, and load your iPod with the soundtrack to Rocky. You've got everything you need but still have to actually get yourself to break that sweat. After the first few days and the soreness starts to creep in, and you're having a bit of trouble simply bending over to pick up the remote, you start to second guess the whole fitness thing. You skip a day or so, then three; a week soon becomes two, and by that point those Nikes have retired themselves to the back of the closet and hidden under a pair of jeans that you cast aside in angst.

The key to sticking to a program, as with anything is to look long term and ask yourself exactly why you are doing it. As simple as it sounds, by setting a concrete goal you are vastly more likely to stick to what you've set out to do. Someone who is going to the gym to get in shape, is too vague in their expectations, but if you go in hoping to be able to run a certain distance or lift a certain amount of weight, you will be able to gauge how close you are to achieving your goal and also keep you accountable. The second part is making sure that your goal is actually attainable. Don't go in expecting to have Usher's six pack or to beat Lance Armstrong in a bike race; write down something that is personal to you and that you honestly think you can achieve. Track your progress as you go along, watch your improvement, and then use that as further motivation to keep pushing yourself toward your goal. The last part in your goal setting, is that when you do finally achieve it celebrate; but then set your sights on the next step. What will you set out to obtain next?

Those who live a healthy lifestyle and incorporate fitness into their lives everyday continue to do so for a reason. They like the way they feel about themselves when they do so, have an idea about the kind of life they want to lead and with a body they feel most comfortable with. That may not sound like a specific goal(although many do have goals in mind, whether it be training for a race or a different sort of competition) but it is; they want to maintain the healthy life, mind, and body they have worked to create and know that in order to continue on that path must keep working at it.

In a time when late night infomercials are hocking instant ab toners that you simply strap on and zap your stomach paunch with and the latest fad diets continually rolling out, it feels like the line has been drawn dividing the nation into two categories: the fit and the fat. That doesn't have to be, and just because you've never felt like an athlete, that doesn't instantly delegate you to the latter. Experiment with different activities; try new classes, challenge yourself with things you've never done before and revisit things you enjoyed growing up. The point is to find something you like to do and can envision yourself continuing because all too often people will force themselves into something they hate, push themselves onward only to quit after simply dreading the activity.

Fitness is fun; you may not believe that but there are plenty of others to dispute you. You may feel a bit awkward or out of place at first, but stick with it and you will be encouraged by the progress you see. Every journey starts with those first hesitant steps, but it is continuing along that road that eventually leads to a healthy lifestyle, mind, and body. You must have the courage to start, but the persistence to continue.

Bookmark and Share