Increased Strength, Fitness and Wellness

Cross Training begins whenever you want it to begin!

Cross training – and it’s not just limited to the modern methods. True cross training includes using traditional techniques, ancient techniques, new techniques and possibly even some that’ll come up in the future but don’t exist today. You see training evolves with the body, and the body evolves with training & time… So you’re always building upon a new body every day.

I propose a mix of Yoga for flexibility/durability/endurance, Cardio for enhanced heart function/oxygen supply (thus increased burn rate) and raw weight training for strength building. Weight training also works as an endurance enhancer if used the right way – less weight, more reps. [1]

Your body is a highly adaptable vehicle, able to change shape and develop greater levels of coordination, flexibility, speed and strength. With training you can become stronger, faster and better at anything you set your mind to…. and at the same time sculpt a beautiful balanced body and healthy physique.

Strength training, yoga and cardiovascular exercise come together to form a fitness trifecta, each benefiting the body while challenging it in very different ways. This balanced body training keeps the body and mind fit, looking sexy and feeling good.

All three practices have a unique effect on your body and on your health, and while they can all do a little of what the others do it’s nothing compared to their powers combined.

Yoga

Yogasana helps enrich the mind and body

Yoga postures and sequences and the breathing techniques that go with them are an ancient exercise and wellness method, wonderful for evening out the muscles on both sides of the body, increasing general flexibility and range of motion and improving posture, core strength and coordination. There are also mental and emotional benefits that come from the relaxing breathing techniques and just paying attention to how you feel while you move.

There are many different types of yoga, ranging from the very mellow to the physically intense, so if you have an open mind and do a little exploring you’ll find one you like if you haven’t already.

Yoga can be practiced 5-6 days a week. I recommend a balance between classes and a home practice… it’s cheaper to practice at home and there’s a TON to be learn from practicing by yourself! It’s very meditative. But it’s also very important to regularly check and correct your alignment and ensure proper form.

Cardio

Cardio workouts like running, biking, treadmill, and stairs are healthy for your heart and build endurance so you can go harder for longer. For many women, cardio is their first fitness love… It burns calories, gets the blood pumping, it’s meditative in it’s own way and, to top it off, the endorphins give you a delightful rush. Want to shed extra fat and get tighter? Do cardio.

You can also do cardio anywhere, making it a traveler’s go-to for staying in shape while possibly taking in the local sites.

Cardio stimulates fat loss, can build a little muscle and takes nothing more than a good pair of shoes. It’s easy to start your fitness journey here and feel great initially. However, over time cardio alone can lead to muscular imbalances and tightness.

Strength Training

Great abs through strength training

Moving heavy weight around in order to build muscle gives your body healthy athletic curves and tone in the right places. Want defined arms and shoulders? A round, perky butt? A six pack?  Toned legs? Lift weights. It also prevents osteoporosis, speeds up your metabolism, and when combined with cardio exercise lowers your risk of heart disease.

Strength training increases vascularity or how blood is transported to your muscles, improving your cardiovascular system in a way that’s different from running, biking, cardio machines or stairs.

If you’re unfamiliar with strength training then start with a simple beginner routine that uses mostly bodyweight and free weights like kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells.

How much is too much?

So now that it’s clear that all three of these practices have awesome benefits, just how much should you do of each? Obvious there’s a limit to how much exercise one can practically and healthfully fit into a week for balanced body training.

Real weight loss stories.

My recommendation here is to do Yoga and Low intensity cardio (skipping, fast walking or using the staircase) on a daily basis. Higher intensity cardio (jogging, cycling, running, step machine, etc) can be done less frequently – around 4 days a week is adequate. Note that if you’ve been cycling and swimming for a long time on a daily basis, you can simply continue as I don’t expect anything bad to come from it – however remember that you must NOT over-do any exercise. Be cautious and exercise within limits.

That brings us to muscle training. Ensure you don’t lift more than 1/10-1/5th of your body weight. That’s right, if you’re 60Kgs limit yourself to a 12Kg maximum weight and do more repetitions. It’s much more effective. Mind the number of reps you do, too – if you go from zero to 100 reps youre just asking for a muscle tear.

Stay fit and see you back here tomorrow!

Post Author: Chaitanya Dhareshwar

Chaitanya Dhareshwar is a director of the "Wellness Tree". He's been into holistic wellness since 2000.His experiences include Acupressure, Reiki, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Weight Therapy, Diets and even Karate! Chaitanya practices Yoga and a Raw Diet consistently. Chaitanya's greatest wish is to bring wellness and good health back to this world.