Source: The Cooper Institute
Most of us know that in order to be “totally fit” we need a combination of strength, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility but many of us only focus only on the cardio part. We do our running, cycling, elliptical, or walking with little to no regard for resistance training or stretching. Perhaps we justify it because we think we don’t have enough time to work in resistance training. Stretching is all too often an afterthought and is not regarded as being important by some people. What are we compromising in the long run? Think about this: what good is all that cardio if you hurt your low back while leaning over to get groceries out of your car? What good is all that cardio if you pull a hamstring or rupture your Achilles tendon? Have you had to cut back on cycling or inline skating because of a persistent injury that could have been prevented with proper strength and flexibility training?
If you fall into the “cardio only” category like so many others, here are some ideas for how to incorporate additional exercises to round out your exercise routine. If your plan is well-organized, you really won’t spend a lot more time integrating resistance training and stretching. And believe it or not, you may experience improved pedal power, running speed, etc. and thus burn more calories per cardio workout!