Any time you're planning your workout, it should include a combination of stretching and cardio activities. And while both types of exercise are important, the benefits they provide you are as different as night and day. If you want to improve your flexibility and burn some calories, a workout that includes toe touches and cardio will help you get the results you desire.
Being able to touch your toes is a sign that you're flexible, and will often come in handy during exercises such as yoga. You can perform a toe touch stretch in several ways, including standing, seated and bending at the waist, lying on your back and holding your feet straight in the air. If you can't touch your toes right away, don't overdo the stretch. Instead, reach as far as you can comfortably, hold the stretch for 30 seconds and build up to being able to reach your toes.
Toe Touch Calories
Touching your toes is a common static stretching exercise, and while beneficial, it does not burn a significant number of calories. An hour of mild stretching will burn just 148 calories for someone who weighs 130 pounds, which is far fewer than cardio exercises. Still, stretching is especially important before vigorous activities, as it helps prevent the risk of injuring a muscle and improves your flexibility.
A cardio exercise is one in which you elevate your heart rate, which provides such benefits as improved circulation, better heart and lung function and increased endurance. When choosing a cardio workout to pursue, you have a long list of options that include jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping rope, dancing and a variety of sports such as hockey and soccer. Many common gym machines, such as treadmills and stationary bikes, also provide a cardio workout.
A high-intensity cardio workout is an effective way to burn a significant number of calories. The number of calories you burn during cardio depends on such factors as your weight, the length of your workout and the intensity at which you exercise. If you weigh 130 pounds and run at 5 miles per hour for 60 minutes, you'll burn 472 calories. If you can increase your speed to 8 miles per hour, you'll burn 797 calories.
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Exercise, Activities, Sports and Work
- Quick and Dirty Tips: 5 Ways to Burn Calories Without Exercising
- American Council on Exercise: Vertical Toe Touch
- Bodybuilding.com: 5 Great Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
- Women's Health: The Brain-Boosting Benefits of Cardio Exercises
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.