Find­ing the Right Bal­ance

A com­bi­na­tion of car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise and resistance train­ing is the key to suc­cess

Gulf & Main - - Contents - BY MICHAEL STULL

Men­tion the term “workout,” and most peo­ple will im­me­di­ately think of gru­el­ing long- dis­tance run­ning or an­other type of car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise. It seems like a nat­u­ral con­nec­tion to imagine long bouts of car­dio on the tread­mill or sta­tion­ary bike. But this vi­sion is what ul­ti­mately can lead many to fail in their at­tempts to be­come health­ier. I call it the “car­dio ob­ses­sion.”

Car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise is im­por­tant for long- term weight loss and fat loss. How­ever, it is only one piece of the puz­zle. Car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise helps to burn fat and ex­tra calo­ries. But when used to ex­tremes, it can bring those ef­forts to a halt and lead to me­tab­o­lism burnout, de­creased thy­roid func­tion, and mus­cle loss.

The key is to find the right bal­ance of car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise and resistance train­ing to pre­vent these is­sues from hap­pen­ing. As­sum­ing that we all have busy sched­ules, the rule of thumb would be to both weight train and com­plete car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise three to four days per week. This will en­sure that you are bal­anc­ing build­ing lean mus­cle and burn­ing fat in an ap­pro­pri­ate ra­tio.

With that in mind, the sin­gle most im­por­tant and ef­fec­tive ex­er­cise you can do for your body is the squat. The myth of squats be­ing bad for your knees and back is sim­ply that— a myth. When prop­erly ex­e­cuted, the squat can have enor­mous pos­i­tive ben­e­fits for the hu­man body.

In fact, it’s been said that if you had to choose only one ex­er­cise to com­plete for the rest of your life, you should choose the squat. Not only does it work the largest and strong­est mus­cles in the body, but it also helps tremen­dously with bal­ance and hor­mone re­lease.


The squat works the lower body mus­cles so much that in­di­vid­u­als who do squats of­ten see an in­crease in their up­per body strength and tone as well. This is be­cause the squat causes the body to re­lease hor­mones that are con­ducive to gain­ing strength and in­creased mus­cle tone. This is some­thing from which both males and fe­males can ben­e­fit. And you don’t have to do squats at the gym; sim­ply stand up and sit down into your kitchen chair at home. Do this for three sets of fif­teen reps and take note of the pos­i­tive ben­e­fits!

Ide­ally, it would be best to com­bine both resistance train­ing and car­dio­vascu- lar ex­er­cise within the same workout, with a com­bi­na­tion of weight lift­ing and aer­o­bic ex­er­cise in­ter­spersed with each other through­out the workout. How­ever, some of us are not able to do that. For those who need to sep­a­rate the two, com­plete the weight train­ing first be­fore mov­ing onto the car­dio­vas­cu­lar por­tion. And try your best to main­tain that bal­ance! Michael Stull is a well­ness con­sul­tant and ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist with more than eight years of ex­pe­ri­ence in de­sign­ing health and well­ness pro­grams for in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses. Learn more about him at michael­stull. com.

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