If you are looking for a total body workout, you want to combine strength training and aerobics. These are two very different types of exercise but the work together to turn your body into a finely tuned machine. Weight training will tone your muscles, making you stronger while aerobics will make your heart and lungs stronger, giving you more stamina while burning the fat. These two disciplines of exercise work best when you combine them with a sensible, sound nutritional plan. When you combine good nutrition, strength training and aerobics you can get the body you have always wanted.
Strength training is typically weight bearing exercise or resistance training. It does just what the title suggests, it builds strength. Weight lifting and exercise machines are examples of strength training devices. However, pilates and yoga can also be methods of strength training. You don't necessarily have to hold free weights to use a machine to strength train. You can use the weight of your own body to provide resistance and increase your strength.
It is a good practice to strength train one set of muscles (such as the upper body) one day and another set (such as the lower body) the next. Most muscle groups need time to rest and recover after exercise. So while you can work out every day, you should work out different muscle groups each day to give worked muscles time to rest and repair. This will give you optimal results.
Aerobics is a cardio exercise that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up. This can be anything from walking to riding a bike. You can run on a treadmill or take an aerobics class. If it gets your heart rate up, it is an aerobic activity. You generally move a lot during aerobic exercise.
You can do aerobic exercises every day because they do not focus on specific muscle groups. Where strength training makes you strong, aerobics makes you lean. It also strengthens your heart and respiratory system, giving you increased stamina. With regular aerobic exercise, you will find that you can run faster and longer as well as perform better.
It is very important to get a sufficient amount of rest prior to starting aerobic activity. You want your body to be energized and ready to go by the time the session starts. If you become tired early into the workout, your mood will obviously decrease (as tiredness often does to our mood) and your body will encourage you to stop the workout.
Any beverages that contain a high amount of sugar and caffeine should be avoided prior to participating in aerobic activity. Not only are these types of drinks unhealthy in the first place, they also hinder your body during a period of exercise. It is best to drink a nice glass of refreshing water before starting your aerobics session in (or anywhere else for a matter of fact).