When it comes to staying fit and healthy, eating a balanced diet simply isn’t enough. After all, engaging in physical activity is also an important aspect of being healthy. However, to ensure you’re maximizing your energy and attaining your fitness goals, you need to identify what kind of workout works best for you.
Some think that working out means simply engaging in physical activity, but this would only have varying degrees of success. So, if you want to attain your fitness goals and sustain positive results from your workouts, make sure you know what kind of workout is right for you.
Here are the three types of workout routines and the advantages and disadvantages of each. This guide also details their differences and what workout suits your specific fitness goals.
Aerobic Fitness or Endurance Training
Aerobic is a word that means “with oxygen.” As such, this type of workout focuses on conditioning the strength of your lungs and heart. These exercises increase the flow of oxygen delivered to your muscles, allowing them to work longer than usual – something that increases your overall stamina.
Aerobic workouts are what you need if you’re planning to lose weight or maintain a particular body shape as this type of workout burns a lot of calories. It also helps improve cognitive function as the brain releases a lot of endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever, and happy chemicals.
Examples of endurance training exercises include sprinting, long-distance running, and swimming. It is recommended that one engages in this type of exercise around 75 minutes per week.
- Improves stamina
- Helps increase the body’s metabolic rate
- Perfect for body reshaping and weight loss
- Improves cognitive function
- Improves cardiorespiratory health as well as pulmonary health
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- Improves circulation
- Lowers the risk of several diseases like diabetes and heart disease
- Can cause injuries due to overuse of the muscles
Muscle Strengthening or Strength Training
Muscle strengthening can also be called strength training or resistance training, and it is a form of workout wherein you help strengthen the muscles by using external resistance.
The external resistance can be achieved using equipment like dumbbells, barbells, and resistance bands. You can even use your body weight to achieve this.
This is the workout for you if you’re looking to build muscles or simply want stronger muscles that can allow you to carry heavier things or muscles that can withstand harsh training.
This type of training helps build muscles by forming tiny tears in the muscles, which will then repair themselves, resulting in new, stronger muscle tissue and can withstand harsher types of training. Squats, weight training, and doing push-ups are examples of this type of workout.
- Helps develop muscle strength
- Improves endurance and balance
- Improves bone strength and joints
- Increases bone density – particularly important for women due to the risk of osteoporosis
- Raises the body’s metabolic rate
- Helps decrease blood pressure
- Contributes to better performance in physical activities
- Helps improve posture
- Can result in stunted growth
Flexibility Training or Static Stretching
As we grow older, the muscles in our body become taut and less flexible. This can be further aggravated by constant physical activity as our muscles become shortened with repeated use.
Engaging in flexibility training or simply stretching helps combat this and also has numerous other benefits, such as lowering cortisol levels, helping to relax more, improving the range of motion, and more.
This type of workout can be performed before or after your heavier workout to improve the body’s flexibility. Stretching before and after working out is recommended to help warm up the muscles and reduce the risk of injuring the muscles due to the sudden activity. Some examples of this type of workout are yoga, Pilates, and simple head to toe stretches.
- Increases range of motion
- Helps support the spinal and musculoskeletal health
- Helps release the tension in the muscles as well as mental tension
- Improves mobility
- Reduces the risk of exercise-related injuries
- Helps lower cortisol levels
- Improves sports performance
- Strengthens joints
- Decreases body pain
- Improves blood circulation
- Can result in muscle damage when done incorrectly
Aerobic Exercise vs Strength Training vs Stretching
If you want optimal fitness and health, it’s important to engage in all three types of workouts as these all have different purposes when it comes to health and fitness.
Aerobic exercises help your body’s overall circulation and cardiovascular health, while strength training is meant to train some specific muscles of your body.
However, you should always stretch before and after these two exercises as both warm-up and cool-down exercises. Doing so will help reduce the risk of exercise-related injuries as it prepares the muscles for the incoming physical activity as well as cools them down after.
Each type of workout helps strengthen your body and gives your routine some variety that can help maximize the energy you’re using and allow you to attain your fitness goals.
However, more than that, it’s important that you identify what your particular fitness goals are first so that you can maximize everything each type of workout can do to your body.
You can also focus your workout plans to work on specific goals, making the process more efficient and less strenuous for your body.
If you want to stay as healthy and fit as possible, it’s important to engage in physical activity along with eating a healthy and balanced diet. Aside from that, determining your fitness goals can help you find the right type of workout for you.
However, whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, it is necessary to incorporate all three types of workout in your routine as this will ensure that you maximize your activity and help you achieve better health overall.
Each type of workout has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to familiarize yourself with each style to ensure optimal results.