When it comes to exercise, showing up at the gym is only half the battle. Once you’re there, what you do is just as important as how long or how frequently you do it. You may already be aware of that fact. But what you may not know is that the order in which you do these activities may greatly impact your results.
According to a new study, choosing the right activities and doing them regularly is only the first step to boosting your weight loss efforts. If you really want to reap the rewards of your hard work, learn to perform exercises in the right order.
Researchers at Western State Colorado University asked 24 men and women between the ages of 18 and 39 to perform 24 different exercises in varying orders. The activities included things like cardiorespiratory exercise, flexibility exercises, resistance exercise, and exercises practicing speed, balance, and agility (neuromotor exercise).
After each participant performed the activities in every possible order, the results were tallied. It appears that performing cardiorespiratory exercise first leads to optimal results for heart rate. When resistance training (weight lifting) was performed second, participants were able to maximize their results without the activity feeling too difficult. This, of course, is a good thing, because when an exercise feels too difficult we often become discouraged and quit altogether.
When you’re pursuing a weight loss goal, any exercise is still better than none (unless you have a medical condition that precludes exercise completely). If you only have time for a 10-minute jog, then do that 10-minute jog and don’t worry about ordering your exercise.
But for those of you who want to maximize your workout results, this study is something to keep in mind. Perform your cardiorespiratory exercise first, then move along to resistance exercises, and finally fit in some flexibility training and neuromotor exercises. You’ll boost your weight loss results, train your body more efficiently, and get into the best shape of your life.
As always, consult with your weight loss physician before starting or changing your exercise routine. All exercise programs are not right for all bodies, and your individual results may vary.