Make endurance training part of your Spring fitness plan

by Christopher B. Robrahn
Fitness Columnist

Spring is here! I must say it is fantastic to be back outdoors with so many great activities. There is nothing better than feeling good and energized and seeing how the landscape changes week by week.     

If you’re into body movement as you should be - our bodies were made to move, not be sedentary - now is a great time to talk about why movement, or action, is essential for fitness.

Many of us think about our exercise workouts as a split between resistance training and cardio (or cardiovascular training). Some of us do these on different days, rotating cardio with resistance work.

Upper body resistance may include core workouts, emphasizing strengthening your back and abs and then arms (or biceps and triceps), shoulder muscles, chest and ancillary muscle tissues. The lower body includes an emphasis on legs, calves, hamstrings to include squats, lunges, deadlifting, stepping and more.

Some people ignore or consider cardiovascular exercise as merely a way of losing weight through the use of a bike, treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, running, swimming or simply walking. It is far more than that!

If you are serious about your training and have a specific sport or fitness goals, cardiovascular training can be described as endurance training. I call endurance work as the “oil necessary for fitness and health improvement.”

Most people think of cardio as simply a way to strengthen your heart. It should be a part of four, not just two, areas of exercise: endurance training, resistance training, flexibility and balance all should be included in your fitness plans.

By challenging yourself through simple stretches and a variety of cardio exercises, you improve your body’s ability to carry oxygen to the muscles, which it needs to make gains with resistance work. You can improve your circulatory system, lungs, and your ability to work out longer and get stronger.

I have friends who tell me they “don’t do cardio,” but that their emphasis is to build up strength in their muscles. I always point out how vital endurance is to that plan.   

So, with the warmer weather, think about how you can change up your cardio workouts to improve your endurance.  Add several and make it an essential part of your improved fitness plan. You will notice the difference!

Copyright The Gayly 4/11/2020 @ 1:19 p.m. CST.