Different methods of exercise bring distinctive benefits
Most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise, but you might be surprised to learn there are four different ways you can give your body a work-out.
Focusing on different types of exercise will give you a fuller, more-rounded health regime and brings distinct benefits to your toning, physique and general levels of fitness.
When thinking about devising a fitness training program, you should ideally try to include all four forms of exercise to yield the best results.
Aerobic exercise can be any work-out that increases your heart and breathing rate. Aerobic exercise is essential for healthy living and brings several significant paybacks, including:
- Increasing endurance
- Lowering blood pressure
- Lowering your blood sugar levels
- Raising good HDL cholesterols
- Lowering bad HDL cholesterols
- Reducing your risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- Reducing the risk of developing colon or breast cancer
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving your lungs and lung capacity
- Improving your blood flow
- Positively altering your mood and countering the risk of suffering depression
- Giving you more energy
- Helping reduce weight
Experts recommend we should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes vigorous activity per week. Examples of aerobic exercise include dancing, cycling, walking, jogging or swimming – anything that gives you a prolonged work-out and raises your heart rate.
Exercises for strength and toning
Strength training differs from aerobic training in that it is primarily short burst, an intense exercise aimed mainly at building strength. While it may also raise your heart and breathing rate, it isn’t particularly stamina-testing exercise. Weight lifting is one of the most popular ways to train for strength. Like aerobic exercise, strength training will bring specific benefits to your body, including:
- Making you physically stronger (obviously)
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Reducing stress
- Alleviating back and joint pain
- Improving posture and your sense of balance
- Stimulating bone growth
- Helping you control your weight
- Improving your confidence
Strength training can be achieved by visiting a gym to lift weights or by any combination of resistance training using your body mass against a band or gravity (for example, lunges or push-ups). Choosing to exercise at a gym or fitness club will give you access to a bigger range of equipment. In most cases, The Club Fitness Facilities is superior to anything you can devise in a home set-up.
Balance exercises to improve your body awareness and stability
Without exception, the best sportsmen and women in the world are also gifted with the best body awareness, stability and balance. Improving your balance will help with all other areas of your fitness and help counter the reduction in our balance skills caused by aging.
As we grow older, our muscles weaken, sight begins to fail, and membranes in our inner ear also start to deplete (which control much of our sense of balance). Doing regular balance exercises will help fight the effects of these losses.
Popular balance exercises include strengthening leg muscles, walking on uneven ground, knee lifts while standing on one leg and exercises to improve joint flexibility.
Stretching exercises to improve your flexibility
Our muscles shorten and lose flexibility through the aging process, so it’s important to perform stretching exercises to improve our suppleness and elasticity. As with the other training noted above, stretching will bring distinct advantages to your body, including:
- Lengthening muscles
- Reducing the risk of cramps or other associated muscle pain
- Protecting against muscle damage
- Reducing the chances of joint pain
- Making you less likely to fall
- Reducing the possibility of strain injuries
- Improving your range of motion
There is a huge array of stretching exercises aimed at different parts of the body – check online for ideas. Health experts suggest you should aim to do stretch training three or four times per week.
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