With the demands of a fast-paced lifestyle, an increasing number of women are not able to exercise on a regular basis. One reason exercise seems to be low on the priority list is due to the amount of time believed needed for an effective workout and a commitment for several times a week becomes unrealistic with other obligations and responsibilities. In actuality, one does not need to be at the gym three times a week or more for hours on end to maintain the health and physical benefits of exercise through light weight training. Also, cross training a workout by varying the types of exercise done will not only challenge the muscles for optimum conditioning but also allow the variety one needs to avoid burning out from the same exercise program.
If aerobics exercise no longer pushes the body to challenge itself, it’s time to add more variety to the aerobics or include light weight training. In fact, weights alone can surpass aerobics with the benefits noticeable in a short time frame.
“Light weight training can be a low-impact aerobics workout. High repetitions with lighter weights challenge muscle groups, strengthens joints, and as the muscle rebuilds, calories are burned long after the workout is over.”-Kevin Michaels, Bally Matrix Trainer, New York.
It’s important to increase the heart rate before beginning a weight workout. A few stretching exercises and at least five to ten minutes of aerobic movement is necessary to achieve optimum results. This could include abdominal exercise with the knees brought to the chin, jumping jacks, treadmill, step exercise, or even just running in place. While trying to increase your heart rate, the body becomes flexible enough to begin lifting weights. Some gym classes offer a combination of step or cycling class for fifteen minutes to a half hour followed by light free weights.
By performing eight to twelve repetitions of each machine or free weights and going through them all for a total of three sets or rotations, without stopping, you can achieve a well-balanced workout. Again, the best motivation to engage in this form of exercise would be the continuous calorie burning for muscle building and repair well after you’re done with the workout. Even one session a week for a minimum of forty-five minutes will maintain muscle, relieve stress, and strengthen joints.