Exercise is an important part of a diet or a healthy lifestyle. The best thing is there are a variety of choices to meet the different needs and interests of everyone! Your first step should be to make an appointment with your family doctor for a full physical. He or she will be able to detect any medical issues that might be exacerbated by exercise to find the best exercise. The physician will also be able to recommend reasonable fitness goals that will ease you into a healthier lifestyle over the long term.
Common Fitness Goals
One of the most common and universal reasons for embracing fitness is to lose weight. It is estimated that two-thirds of the American population is currently overweight or obese. Dieting is not the only action that must be taken to get your weight under control. It is necessary to adopt an exercise regimen that will further get you into shape!
Improve Athletic Prowess
Many people find a skill or sport they are especially drawn to and enjoy. It is natural to want to improve your abilities which calls for practice, practice, practice. The fitness goal of this action will be to cultivate your expertise which often translates to even greater satisfaction and relaxation when engaging in the activity.
Build Muscles and Gain Strength
It is believed that any fitness program should include a strength building component. Muscles mass and strength tend to lessen with age. To combat this, a well-planned fitness program will allow for increased bone density, strengthened connective tissues, and the easing of such ailments as arthritis.
Fitness experts know that endurance is not about isolated exercises. Instead the aim is to develop endurance through compound movements. This is done by mixing up a variety of exercises that target various body parts and muscle groups. For instance, you might do a series of sit-ups, squats and push-ups without a break.
Exercise paired with a proper diet will help to improve your flexibility. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle often results in bone and joint loss and stiffness that can lead to arthritis. Stretching as a fitness goal will enhance your range of motion and improve your ability to move with ease.
Six popular forms of exercise
Yoga is composed of physical, spiritual, and mental activities. It is a discipline that originated in India during ancient times. It utilizes different physical postures while concentrating on your breathing and different areas of the body. The poses are designed to condition the body but also call on techniques that strengthen your mind and spirit. People who practice yoga consider it to be more than a form of exercise. Rather they look at it as a lifestyle and a way to capture your human potential.
Running and walking
Running and jogging are synonymous. Too, running and walking can take place outdoors or indoors on a track, the roadway or treadmill. Running and walking are exceptional forms of exercise for several reasons. First, they are considered to be a ‘full-body’ workout. Running and walking also help to relieve stress and can be done with others or alone.
It is simply the most natural forms of exercise known to man – after all, people start running as soon as they learn to walk! Finally, running and walking tend to usher in a feeling of peace while your mind wanders as your feet hit the pavement or any other surface. Many communities have walking and jogging trails set aside for this exercise.
Swimming is a very popular form of exercise. It is also a form of a ‘full-body’ workout with the additional benefit of being classified as ‘low-impact’. In other words, it does not put pressure on your joints. It is also a great cardio workout and many swimmers find it to be stress-relieving.
Swimming as an exercise option does come with its challenges. First, not everyone knows how to swim. In fact, some people never learn how to swim! Too, not everyone has access to a pool. Pools are very expensive to maintain and in many climates outdoor swimming is seasonal. Some fitness centers have pools that are open year-round.
Many people confuse pilates with yoga. Pilates is unique. It is an exercise regimen that utilizes various apparatus to meet fitness goals. This includes enhancing core strength and flexibility, posture, and mental adeptness and balance. Pilates can be adopted by anyone who is interested in improving their health and overall fitness. Pilates programs are available online and in video form for people who want to work out at home. Otherwise, there are many community and fitness centers that offer Pilates.
Many look back on their childhood with fond memories of getting their first two-wheel bike. Biking also falls into the category of a form of exercise that can be done by nearly anyone. For those who are older but still enjoy the bike-riding experience, they now make three-wheel adult bicycles. Biking is an excellent form of cardio and tends to work the lower half of the body’s muscle groups – improving strength, flexibility, and endurance. There are many bike trails that improve safety, but public roadways often have bike lanes, and riding on sidewalks may also be an option. Bikes do not have to be an expensive purchase and they are a piece of equipment that stands the test of time.
Some final reminders
Don’t overdo it. ‘Everything in moderation’ is the most apropos motto when starting a fitness routine that you want to incorporate into your life. Also, there are many fitness programs on video and online that can be accessed for free. If you can afford it, you might also consider joining a fitness club or hiring a personal trainer to come to your home or oversee your exercise at a gym.
Just know there are many options for getting in shape, and before long you’ll find the best exercise for you!