There are many important elements to include in your fitness program. Cardio and Strength being two of the most important. When people begin a fitness program they usually understand the importance of incorporating cardio and strength into it. What people don’t always think about incorporating into their fitness program are these three important elements:
You may not think about building workouts around or incorporating these elements, but it is extremely important that you do. Balance, flexibility and posture are all things that just don’t improve on their own, and decrease very rapidly as we age.
Balance is needed to maintain stability, prevent falls and injuries. You can achieve better balance by strengthening the muscles of the core and lower body. For specific exercises to help improve balance, refer to my post:
Ways To Improve Balance and Stability
Flexibility is needed to maintain and increase joint range, function and mobility.
• Reduced risk of injuries
• Releases muscle tension and soreness
• Improves posture
Tight hamstrings and hips can result in lower back, hip and/or knee pain and issues. Tight chest can lead to overstretched back muscles, shoulder pain and/or bad posture. Stretching these muscle groups is particularly important, especially if you are experiencing any of these problems.
Being sure that you are engaging in a full range of motion during all of your exercises will help with flexibility of your joints. Engaging in flexibility exercises or workouts such as pilates or yoga can also be very helpful.
Posture is important in preventing injury and tension in the spine and upper body. You can achieve better posture by focusing on specific muscles of the upper and mid back. For specific exercises to help improve posture refer to my post:
Applying and Maintaining Good Posture
All of these can be incorporated into your fitness routine either on your own, through classes, or with a personal trainer.
If you are working to do these on your own it will take a little research and execution. There are many things you can do for each of these to make improvements and they need to be done several times a week. This can be done through different cardio and strength exercises, stretches and poses.
Group fitness classes are a great approach. Most or all classes will include some form of these. Any class you take should work towards improvements in these areas. If you are looking for classes that specifically focus on balance, flexibility and posture, look for yoga and pilates.
Working with a personal trainer on these specific areas is another way that you can improve them. A personal trainer will either give you specific exercises for these elements or work them into your cardio and strength workouts.
• ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
• AFFA Certified Group Fitness Instructor
• NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
• Specialize in: - Kickboxing - Strength Training - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)