Now that you have successfully chosen a gym that fits your needs and one you are happy with what do you do now?? What machines should you work out on? What routine should you follow? So many questions that need answered so that you don’t feel lost in your new facility. Most locations when you join a gym will offer a free orientation or assessment. My advice is to take that location up on it. Doesn’t mean that you have to buy personal training but it will help you become familiar with your surroundings and with the equipment. It would be beneficial to bring a notebook or note pad with you so that you can write down notes about the equipment so you don’t feel overwhelmed and forget all the information that you were just taught the minute you walked out the door. Once you feel comfortable with the machines the next step is to determine which is better for you cardio or strength training.
What exactly is cardio? The term “cardio” is short for cardiovascular, which refers to the circulatory system that involves the heart and blood vessels in your body. When doing cardio for long stretches of time or doing interval training you are making the heart beat faster and pumping more blood through your system. By doing cardio you are forcing your body to use oxygen to help provide energy to push through your workout. You are also going to force your body to burn and use glycogen which is sugar and fat in your body to help keep you energized. This in turn is going to help you burn fat and lose weight. Any activity that gets your heart rate to about 50 – 75% of the maximum can be classified as cardio. To find out your maximum, you can roughly calculate it as 220 minus your age. Examples of cardio are; jogging, running, biking, boxing, riding a bike, using the elliptical. Cardio will help strengthen your heart and lungs. It will also help with recovery, reduce stress, and speed up your metabolism.
Now that you know what cardio and strength training is your probably wondering which one do you do to get the best results. The answer is simply to do both of them! To achieve this is will take a little effort to plan around your schedule when and how many days you are able to do one or the other. By strength training you will strengthen your muscle and tighten them up and while doing cardio you will burn body fat so that your muscles become tone and firm and begin to show more. Remember this will change depending on the type of goal that you are going for so determine if you want to lose weight, gain endurance, or add muscle size to your frame, or just live a healthy lifestyle!!