Have you been wanting to improve your overall health and feel better about your appearance?
If so, join the club. After all, it is soooo easy to be sedentary and lack the drive to maintain a healthy diet or get in shape. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is critical for physical and mental well-being, and exercise plays a significant role in reaching that goal.
Here we look at a guide to different types of exercise and why they are important for living a healthy lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more.
Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, swimming, dancing, and cycling can be done both indoors and outdoors. To start, find a safe and comfortable space and begin with a light warm-up. Increase intensity (heart rate and breathing) gradually. Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity per day.
Aerobic exercise (which improves cardiovascular health) involves any activity that increases the heart rate and breathing. Aerobic exercise is also important for reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and increasing overall fitness.
Consider using a fitness tracker or heart rate monitor to track progress and stay motivated. One brand we like is Garmin. They have several wearables that track your heart rate, effort, step count, and distance. Find some great ones at www.garmin.com. Michelle’s current favorite is the Forerunner 235.
Cross-training involves incorporating multiple types of exercise into a workout routine. Types of cross-training can include cardio, strength, and flexibility training all in one workout session. This type of exercise is essential for overall fitness, injury prevention, and improved performance in a specific sport or activity.
Endurance training is just that…training. It is training for a longer distance and duration event such as a marathon or long distance cycling. Training for one of these events can be done both indoors and outdoors. If one of these long duration events is a goal, for at least three days of endurance training per week, focusing on proper form and technique. To start, begin with shorter, lower-intensity workouts and gradually increase duration and intensity. If you are new to this type of training, a GREAT place to start (if you want to run) is with a couch to 5K program.
Flexibility training, such as yoga and stretching, can be done at home or in a group class setting. To start, find a safe and comfortable space, and use online resources or a certified instructor to learn the proper technique. Start with gentle stretches and gradually increase duration and intensity. Try to fit in at least two days of flexibility training per week, focusing on all major muscle groups.
Low-impact exercise includes activities that are gentle on the joints, such as walking, swimming, or using an elliptical machine. This type of exercise is great for individuals with joint pain or injuries and can improve overall fitness without putting stress on the joints.
Interval training includes alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of lower-intensity recovery time. This could be as simple as walking fast for 1 minute then walking at a slower more casual pace for 2-3 minutes. You’d then repeat this cycle a few more times. A more intense form of interval training is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. This type of training involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise (burpees or mountain climbers) followed by periods of rest. This type of exercise is great for improving cardiovascular health, burning calories, building strength, and increasing overall fitness.
When people talk about strengthening your core, most people think it means having strong abdominal muscles. However, this is not the true core. Your true core is the muscles along the spine that maintain your posture. One of the BEST sources for postural training is a program called Foundation Training. Dr. Goodman, the creator, has a fantastic YouTube channel that teaches you HOW to do the basic exercises. There are also a couple of basic workouts using this system on their channel.
WE LOVE STRENGTH TRAINING!! Strength training involves moving heavy things by lifting weights or using resistance to build muscle mass and strength. To start, consult a fitness professional certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or online resources to learn proper form and technique. Begin with light weights or resistance and gradually increase weight or resistance as strength improves. Aim for at least two days of strength training per week, focusing on all major muscle groups.
One of our FAVORITE strength training systems is the X3 developed by Dr. John Jaquish. This system focuses on using resistance bands to develop and build strength.
Pilates involves low-impact, full-body exercises that can be done in a group class setting or at home with online resources. To get started, find a safe and comfortable space and use online resources or a certified instructor to learn proper techniques. Start with basic exercises and gradually increase difficulty. The best strategy is to aim for at least two days of Pilates per week.
Mind-body exercises, such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi, focus on the connection between the mind and body. These types of exercise are great for reducing stress, improving mental health, and promoting overall well-being.
Tips for Starting a New Workout
Starting a new workout routine when you’re out of shape can be daunting, but it’s important to start somewhere. Here are some tips to help you start your new workout routine:
- Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start with a low-intensity workout that won’t overwhelm your body. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout over time.
- Set realistic goals that you can achieve. Don’t expect to run a marathon in your first week of training. Instead, set a goal of running a certain distance or for a certain amount of time each day or week.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. Decide when you will work out each day, and make it a priority. This will help you establish a routine and stay on track. Reward yourself for sticking to your plan! This could be with a massage, new workout top or running/walking shoes!
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to. If you’re feeling tired or sore, take a break or reduce the intensity of your workout. Remember to stretch AFTER your workouts and drink water to rehydrate!
- Keeping track of your progress is a great way to help yourself stay motivated. The best strategy is to use a fitness tracker or a journal to record your workouts and see how far you’ve come.
- Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Every little victory is a step closer to your goals.
- Incorporating a variety of exercises into a fitness routine is essential for good health. Each of them offers unique benefits to our physical and mental health. Keep in mind that it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in different types of exercise.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you? Reach out to us to learn about how we can help you reach your health goals!