Building cardio and muscle fitness are two ideal goals. Our health depends on eight basic systems that run our body mostly autonomously. The most direct way to optimize their performance are through aerobics, resistance training, nutrition, and rest.
Aerobics for Cardio
An ounce of prevention, they used to say, is worth a pound of cure. Aerobics can be simple for maintenance or intense for optimizing capabilities. The basics are just low impact exercise like walking, biking, swimming, or tread mills for a half hour. Intensity is built by adding duration, speed, and/or intervals.
Muscles can be maintained through basic exercises that burn fat, build strength, and increase endurance. Lifting weights at 50% of one lift capacity for sets of 20-25 reps two to five times a week is beneficial. Increasing load and reducing reps and frequency builds strength and size.
In this process, you can time nutrition to support fueling and then recovery. Timing is important when exercise is more intense. The body needs carbohydrates and protein a few hours before exercise and immediately after along with adequate hydration.
Lifting for Goals
I like to lift near my maximum one lift capacity every other day and ride my bike for at least an hour every other day with half hour walks every morning. The most important meals are fuel a few hours before exercise and recovery nutrition after exercise. Then to support muscle building I consume protein about every four hours.
I work different muscle groups at each gym session. I work the big muscle groups on one day with squats, dead lifts, and chest presses. I work smaller muscle groups the next time with military presses, curls, triceps pulls, cable pulls for the back and shoulders and leg presses.
Working a circuit is excellent if you can only work one or two days a week. Beginners work ten exercises with three sets of 20 to 25 reps at loads of 50% of one lift capacity. One lift capacity is a guess at the beginning so you want to lift a weight that allows you to complete all the reps and sets.
Aerobics is built with consistency. Walking can lead to jogging and running. Easy bike rides can be lengthened for intensity. Intervals or speed can be added for additional intensity as well as increasing frequency. Our body adapts readily after beginning so we want to add intensity to develop capacity and increase stress. Nutrition timing becomes more important as intensity is added.
Building cardio, building strength, and nutrition become a lifestyle. They consume our thoughts, our time, and increase our gratitude. Health is a great reward and feeling great is the ultimate pay off.