FOX Logo-ReducedIf you eat the same food every day, even when healthy, you still may be missing important vitamins and minerals. The same is true when you stick with only one type of workout like strength training, running, spinning, or yoga. Your body soon will reach a plateau, which makes further improvement more difficult, and you increase your risk of repetitive injury. Most of all, you ignore other aspects for all-around fitness.

Put another way—you can fly up the stairs, but need help lifting something heavy.

While athletes need to work on specific areas due to her or his sports demands, the rest of us are better off building a well-rounded body. This does not mean you have to drop your spinning class or roll up your yoga mat for good. Instead, learn how to add to your workout-of-choice.

Strength Training
What you get: “As we age, we lose strength and eventually even activities like walking up the stairs and lifting a bag of groceries could become too difficult. Strength training can maintain your lean body mass, which will also help you maintain a healthy body weight,” says Sara Mahoney, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise science at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Even more, muscles activate the metabolism at rest since it’s the most energy consumer body tissue you have. Likewise, the stronger your muscles the stronger your bone mass and joints. This keeps osteoporosis, low back pain, and other bone-joint related issues at bay.

What you miss: “In general, strength training provides some cardio-respiratory benefits, but not the same as traditional cardio exercises, such as running, swimming, or cycling,” explains Pete McCall, exercise physiologist of the American Council on Exercise. And even though a study shows that keeping full range of motion while lifting weights may increase flexibility, McCall says muscles can lose the ability to lengthen and become tight.

Get more: If the idea of 30 minutes of cardio sounds daunting, McCall recommends circuit training—performing a number of exercises in a row before rest. Your heart will work hard to pump more oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles and thus provide a cardio benefit. “It is also important to save time for static stretching or self-myofascial release like foam roll or stick, after strength training to reduce tension in the muscles and restore to a normal resting length,” he says. Ideally, devote one full day to some type of cardio-respiratory training and do some flexibility training at the end of the workout.

Read Related: 5 Efficient Routines to Shape Up

What you get: Yoga provides many benefits for flexibility and resistance training. The isometric contractions and balance positions engage all of the muscles and can provide an effective overload, according to McCall. Plus, the combined works of flexibility and resistance training improves your balance, which helps reduce your risk of falling as you age.

What you miss: Yoga may work on your breathing and increase your heart rate response, but it will not be enough to improve your aerobic capacity. Also, the caloric burnout is not that much compared with other aerobic activities.

Get more: Add one to three days per week of dedicated cardio-respiratory training to improve aerobic capacity, heart health, and receive energy expenditure benefits, says McCall.

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