Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle, but actually achieving it does not come as easy as said. I know that I am a culprit of the thought, so in this three part series I am going to break down the benefits of different types of exercise, the danger of fad diets and ways to be healthy young that your future-self will thank you for.
Now, when you go to the gym, are weights your go-to workout or is it a run on the elliptical? In part one of my three-part series weighting vs. cardio is the topic of discussion.
Cardio is one of the most common workouts to do at the gym, especially when just starting out.
Working out in general has become vastly popular over the years, making gyms and workout facilities expand.
With that being said, the Fitness Equipment Market is set to expand by 2024 to a $14 billion dollar industry. The graph below shows the growth of cardio equipment being bought in the U.S. for gyms and more.
Anything that will get your heart rate pumping is considered cardiovascular exercise.
“Anything aerobic, basically any kind of machine is going to make your heart racing,” said Beth Barry, a personal trainer at Snap Fitness in Kent.
Barry says that any kind of cardio is good kind of cardio. No one has to feel like they are not doing enough.
Some forms of cardio include the treadmill, elliptical, exercise bike, stair climber, rowing machine and so much more.
“I like doing cardio and a HITT or Tabata format and work. Basically that’s a work rest time – you burn calories longer that way,” Barry said.
Tabata format is a HITT (high intensity interval training) workout where you do a hard run for 30 seconds to a minute and then have a 10 second break.
It is supposed to help you burn calories faster and longer, even while you are not working out anymore.
“I usually tell people you know 30 minutes of cardio a day,” said Barry.
A report says that in order to decrease the risk of health problems one should do cardio for at the least 150 minutes per week.
Cardio has always been a fan favorite, but weightlifting is starting to become more and more popular.
Weightlifting is picking up dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls or even your own weight.
“The body can benefit from it no matter what age or what level” says Kelsey Solor a weight lifting coach.
Solor believes functional training is the best way to weight lift. That means working your body in ways that it already knows in everyday life.
“On a personal and professional level I am far more drawn to weight training” Solor said.
Weight training is said to achieve more for your body than cardio does.
“You’re on a treadmill or are on an elliptical and your cruising, you’re not breathing heavy, you’re not exerting yourself, you don’t leave that feeling like holy cow I just put my body through something…where is weight training there’s so many ways to create an overload” Solor explained.
Solor said that when weight training it creates this up and down heart rate, which makes you burn calories far more than doing just cardio and for much longer.
“You’re also going to burn more in an actual training session as well there’s no chance that steady state cardio is going to be anywhere close to weight training at the same level,” said Solor.
Although, nothing can fully be accomplished with cardio or weight traing without thinking about what your body is consuming.
Eating the right kinds of food and/or going on a diet can be tough, especially when places like Olive Garden and Wendys exist.
That is why people chose to do diets that get the weight they don’t want off quickly.
Those diets are called ‘Fad Diets’ and they can be detrimental to the body. Fad diets make you lose weight quickly, but they are not long-lasting or sustainable.
There is an estimated 45-million people who try to go on diets every year and with that, 50% of those people use Fad diets.
“Number one, very difficult to sustain fad diets number to they don’t work long-term, so all of the research really focuses on six months of the diet and we see some ineffectiveness of the diet after a year,” said Tanya Falcone, a registered dietitian.
Some examples of fad diets are the Paleo diet, Keto diet, Atkins diet, and the South beach diet.
“What happens with each of those diets is that they will omit one to two primary macronutrients, which means your macronutrients are your proteins or carbs and your fat,” said Falcone.
Eliminating carbs from your diet has many side effects, but one big one is that it can cause fatty liver disease.
“Some of the things that we see is increase risk of fatty liver system and another one is kind of gaining the weight back. Theres also an increase in nauseation of not having enough vitamins and minerals, the list goes on and on and on,” said Falcone.
So, instead of hurting the body with fad diets, help it by going on the one of the healthiest diets known right now: The Mediterranean diet or a diabetic diet.
“Focusing on a well-balanced like protein and carbohydrates and some vegetables and starches in every meal if you can and focusing on that,” said Falcone.
Below is a chart showing how to portion your everyday meal the healthiest way.
A tip from the dietitian to stay healthier is, “a lot of times to stay healthier I usually focus on removal of certain things, so it is sugary beverages. I don’t care if they’re low calorie or what not take him out of your diet because drinking those beverages that have artificial sweeteners and them are going to stimulate your taste buds.”
Cutting the sugary drinks for water will be tough, but your body will thank you later.
For young people though, they never think about the harm in eating or drinking badly.
Diets and working out is not typically on a 12-21 year olds mind, but it should be.
Trying to stay healthy at a young age is not only important then, but it will be extremely beneficial down the road.
“Three things that are really important to a healthy diet exercise regularly and getting the right amount of sleep,” The Kent State University doctor, Lisa Danemiller said.
She sees college students all the time and the biggest problem that comes about in young people is not getting enough sleep and not exercising enough.
Everyone should be active for at least 1 hour per day, and at least 80 percent of teens in the US do not reach that goal.
Danemiller explained that the biggest reason why staying healthy at a young age is such a concern is because, “young adults think that they are invincible, they think they’re not going to die to take nothing is going to kill them.”
A well balanced diet, like the chart from above, and staying consistently active will do wonders to the body when growing old.
It creates habits that will be long-lasting and very beneficial.
“Please try to avoid the one meal per day,” Falcone said when explaining how most young adults limit themselves to one meal a day because of being busy and what not.
Not eating enough food in the day can really harm the body and brain power.
“Keeping snacks, fruits, cheese, peanut butter, nuts all those things are super easy to keep in a room,” said Falcone.
But other than eating and exercising, stress and sleep can put a toll on the body.
Falcone says that, “not sleeping enough is definitely linked to weight gain of 10 to 15 lb.”
A statistic says that 37% of people between 20 and 39 years-old reported short sleep duration.
Some helpful tips from Falcone to be your best is to “get your 8 hours of sleep, try and drink at least 64 oz of water a day and it’s a matter of having a structured schedule to make yourself less stressed out and not procrastinate as much.”
No matter what you eat, how much exercise you get or how healthy you maintain your young body there are always people out there to help.
Not everyone nows exactly what to do, thats why professionals are there to help and assure you that you are on the right track.
Staying healthy is not easy, but it is also not impossible.