Why it is Important to Balance Strength Training and a Yoga Practice
When starting a new fitness regime, we often go through all the different exercise options like cardio, strength training, and yoga. Then we pick one that we enjoy the most or believe will help us achieve our fitness goals.
While each type of exercise has its merits and you’ll see results from doing just one, these exercise types complement each other. Incorporating cardio, strength training, and yoga into your fitness regimen will result in outstanding results. You’ll also notice that strength training will help you perform better at yoga and vice versa.
Why Your Workout Routine Should Include a Mix of Exercises
Cardio, strength training, and yoga each has different benefits. So only doing one means you miss out on the benefits of the others.
Cardio elevates your heart rate, strengthening it and allowing your heart to pump blood more effectively. This gives you more energy, improves your lung capacity, and gives you more stamina to do strength training and yoga. It’s an excellent idea to incorporate about ten minutes of cardio into your routine before doing strength training or yoga, as it helps to warm up your muscles.
Easy cardio options include walking briskly or going for a jog. It is worth investing in a treadmill if you exercise at home and don’t like walking on the road. It’d be helpful to do a detailed treadmill walkthrough review before buying one so that you are sure the treadmill you buy suits your needs.
While cardio is fantastic for heart health and providing energy and stamina, it isn’t that effective at building muscle. Strength training builds muscle, strengthens the bones, and increases metabolism, making it easier to lose weight.
As great as strength training is for building muscle, some muscles and tissue get left behind during weight training. For example, your biceps may have developed sufficiently to do a bicep curl with a heavyweight, but your elbow will likely not be able to manage the weight, and this is where yoga comes in.
Yoga is excellent at building strength throughout the body, developing muscles not utilized during weight training, and strengthening ligaments, tendons, and tissue so that you don’t get injured when lifting heavy weights.
On the flip side, you need muscle strength and stability to perform some yoga poses, which can only be achieved through weight training. For example, you need to have strong arms and chest muscles to hold plank-like poses, and developing the muscles in your legs helps you with warrior poses and overall balance.
Benefits of Including Cardio, Strength Training, and Yoga in Your Workout Routine
Combining cardio, strength training, and yoga gives you a fantastic, well-rounded balance that is good for your body, mind, and soul. Some of the benefits include:
- Increased muscle mass
- Better breathing when working out
- Less risk of injury
- Decreased stress
How to Fit Cardio, Strength Training, and Yoga into Your Weekly Training Schedule
It may seem overwhelming to try and jam all three types of exercises into your fitness plan, but you don’t need to do all three every day. Consider how much time you have each work and plan your workouts accordingly. You can combine exercise types, for example, cardio and strength training, cardio and yoga, or strength training and yoga.
As mentioned earlier, a short cardio workout is great for warming up your muscles, especially before weight training. Another good routine could be doing a HIIT workout that includes cardio and end with a few yoga poses to help you cool down.
If you prefer not to combine exercise types, you can dedicate two days to strength training, two to yoga, and one to cardio in one week and then perhaps two days to cardio, one day to strength training, and two days to yoga the following week. There’s no right combination, so you can mix it up weekly to keep your routine interesting.
When planning your workouts, it’s a good idea to space the exercise types out to give your muscles time to recover. So if you have planned to do strength training twice a week, don’t do it over two consecutive days. A good exercise plan could look like the following:
- Monday - upper body strength training
- Tuesday - yoga flow
- Wednesday - cardio, run on the treadmill
- Thursday - lower body strength training
- Friday - yoga flow
- Saturday - cardio, swim, or cycle
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Author : Kiki Gonzalez