Should I Start a Strength-Training or Interval-Training Routine?

Though fitness pros may tout these workouts, your exercise goals should be your guide.

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Rather than steady aerobic exercise, I see many fitness pros extolling the virtues of strength training and interval training routines. Wouldn't going for an easy jog be just as good a workout?

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It depends upon your goals. If you are involved in competitive running, interval training is necessary to improve your performance. That type of intense exercise is not advised for anyone having a diagnosis of heart problems or musculoskeletal abnormalities. My recommendation for the masses, particularly older Americans, is "long, slow is always better than fast, short."

I do feel that a total fitness program consists of a cardiovascular base coupled with musculoskeletal conditioning. You can be too muscular just as you can be overweight, and the heart is going to suffer either way. But if you do both, then you can become "totally fit." The combination of aerobic conditioning and strength training should be as follows:

Age Cardiovascular Training Musculoskeletal Conditioning
30s 80% 20%
40s 70% 30%
50s 60% 40%
Over 60 55% 45%

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