New Delhi: Rather than focussing only on weight-loss and a well-toned body, one should have a holistic approach to fitness and build stamina across all areas -- running marathons, lifting weights, cycling, and performing basic daily chores, experts say.
"Fitness doesn't mean good looks, It means progressive improvement in strength, endurance and mobility. Weight lifting plays an important role in building all three," Rishabh Telang, fitness expert and level-2 crossFit trainer with Cult -- a Bengaluru-based fitness chain that was acquired by CureFit, a healthcare start-up launched by former Flipkart executives Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, in 2016.
In a conventional gym training a person exercises his/her abs one day and chest the next day and then the whole process gets repeated in the next week. But that does not help in stamina building of the person.
"You must have noticed body builders, who although are good at lifting weight and pumping iron, may start panting after climbing a slew of stairs or after running a small stretch. This is because the monotony of doing the same exercises week after week reduces your attendance over time," Telang told IANS in a telephonic interview.
At the same time, a person who undergoes endurance training does various forms of machine-less exercises in a single session, which ensures a more balanced development of strength, flexibility and endurance rather than focusing on one and missing out on the other.
"The human body should go through all formats of exercise. If it is given only one type of exercise, it will hit a plateau or stop reacting," Shwetambari Shetty, fitness expert and master trainer for Zumba at Tribe-Cult, told IANS.
CureFit recently acquired the The Tribe fitness chain that also offers a mix of activities just as Cult does.
Endurance training -- which can also be termed as functional training -- combines cardio endurance and weight lifting to build up muscles.
The training session uses body as a machine and engages many muscles at once, leading to higher efficiency to build reasonably good endurance and stamina required for performing any functional task.
"The functional movements which combine running, swimming, cross-training, martial art forms, etc. are also safer since one can have higher body control here rather when using machines," said Ankit Nagori, Co-Founder, CureFit.
Endurance training also helps burn more calories, helps strength-building and reduces weight faster than conventional gym training
Endurance training also focuses on interval training, which involves brief bursts of vigorous exercise separated by short periods of recovery. It has been proven to be an effective and time-efficient approach for improving cardiorespiratory fitness by various studies.
It also helps achieve a holistic lifestyle good enough to shape the body as well as to tranquilise the mind; that is, it also plays a great role in alleviating stress, Telang said.
Age is not a bar for fitness under the endurance-training method.
"From a nine-year-old child to a 75-year-old lady, anyone can adapt as the techniques are basically day-to-day activity.
"It can also be practiced by a pregnant woman and can prove to be very useful during the pre-natal and post-natal stages of birth. However, they should train only under the guidance of an expert," Shwetambri maintained.
The benefits of endurance training, such as improved cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular endurance, has also been proved by various studies.
A recent study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, revealed that just a single session of endurance exercise helped participants increase the expression of genes that are used to repair damaged DNA as well as helped remodel heart tissue.
Another study, published in the journal Reproduction, showed that men who engage in endurance training three-to-five times a week can improve their sperm count and other measures of sperm quality.