I’ve been on my fitness journey for 4 years now. Which means for 4 years I have constantly set goals, made achievements, and even failed, which is okay because it has been the greatest process of my life. I started out going to my local gym and I remember walking in saying to myself “where the hell do I even start.” I hated cardio and I was petrified of the weight lifting machines-I was a dancer and so I was used to using my own body weight to workout. However, that didn’t stop me.
I started watching fitness videos on Instagram and that helped out a lot. I would also go to the gym with a friend for support and guidance. I found my love for weight training, and it became a key element to my training sessions. I believe that most women are scared to start lifting because they don’t want to look bulky, and I promise you, that is not the case.
I had no specific goals other than to lose a little bit of weight and to gain a booty. It wasn’t until I went into college and started studying exercise science that I set serious goals and made fitness a major part of my life.
As I said before, I hated cardio. I couldn’t stand to sit on a machine for a dreadful 20 minutes! But at the same time, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. Yes, I made some great booty gains, but one of my biggest goals was to lean out and I wasn’t getting there. So, my lovely boyfriend literally forced me to start doing cardio because he was sick of hearing me whine about not seeing results, and sure enough I started noticing my body change within a few months, which leads me to this blog post. So what exactly are the benefits of cardio, weight training and HIIT? And why should you be doing all three?
Cardio is short for cardiovasvascular or cardiorespiratory. It is a form of aerobic exercise and can be both low intensity (fat burn) and high intensity (cardiovascular health). To get full benefits of cardio, aim for at least 20 plus minutes per session.
-Releases feel good hormones
Weight training is a type of strength training that uses force, resistance, or weight. It provides a stress to your muscles which causes them to adapt and become stronger. There are so many muscles in the body and so many ways to work them, and that’s why I love weight training. I never get bored, and I’m always finding new ways to bring variety into my workouts. For me personally, weight training is the most mentally challenging and stimulating of the three workout types.
-Muscles burns more than fat, so you’re burning more calories throughout the day even when you aren’t exercising
-Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms
-Improves bone density
-Lowers risk of diabetes
-Increases strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT is a form of interval training. It is a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. I’ve talked a little bit about my love for HIIT on my blog before. My latest favorite HIIT exercise is using the stair master alternating between fast and slow levels for a minute each.
-Burns more calories/fat than regular cardio
-Helps build endurance
-No equipment necessary
-reduced body fat
These pictures were taken two weeks apart. ***After I started incorporating cardio and HIIT into my routine.
So there are my top three types of exercise that I believe to be extremely beneficial to the mind and body. Comment down below how you love to break a sweat!