Fitness starts from the feet up and so running could be considered to be the direct approach to fitness. And of course that would be right because anyone with half a brain knows running can be good for you. That is, of course, if you have the time, the motivation, and don’t suffer from any significant muscle or tendon problems in the legs and or glutes.
Cycling is also great for cardio fitness, and it can also be of benefit despite any minor leg injuries, and it doesn’t have to be out on the road. It can be in the gym which has the benefit of shelter from the elements. And it doesn’t pound your body, as happens with running, so you can stop making excuses. If running is out, get on your bike.
And there is swimming. A great sport and a great fitness activity, combining upper and lower body fitness and strength. So there you have it, combine all three activities and you’re a tri-athlete. Sounds easy enough.
However, every part of the body can be exercised to contribute to overall fitness and strength so, if you put the lower and upper body all together into a cardio/strength/fitness package you end up with the real deal. All athletes use weights and or resistance training to achieve the physical form that is necessary to be the best at their chosen sport. If you have the inherent physical makeup you might be able do it too. But it will take all your focus, and most likely, a lot more time than you have available.
So what’s the next best thing?
Firstly figure just how important it is to you. Then, how much time can you realistically put aside from family, friends, and career, to achieve your goal. This is a serious stuff you are taking on, and it will require some serious time, and serious focus. The thing though, is that all that can be too much and probably unnecessary, for the average fitness enthusiast. However there can be a way to turn it down a notch, and still achieve a well above average fitness level, using a balance of combined cardio, strength, and fitness workouts.
Using your heart rate to weight train for fitness