The dictionary defines exercise as any activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and promotes overall health and wellness.
There are three categories of exercise, aerobic, anaerobic, and flexibility. Exercise can offer many health benefits. You will explore why exercise is a healthy lifestyle choice.
Benefits of exercise
Exercise can reduce the risk of injuries (falls), can give you energy, can reduce the risk of death through chronic diseases and illnesses, and can maintain a constant weight. Exercise increases your metabolic rate.
This is good news for people who struggle with weight loss because of a low metabolic rate. Exercise can add longevity to your life and can strengthen your heart, lungs, muscle groups, and immune system.
Three types of Exercises
Aerobic exercise: (cardio) uses oxygen to fuel your body´s energy demands during a workout. At its core, aerobic exercises can strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscle groups used during the workout.
The majority of exercises stem from aerobics. Examples of aerobic exercises include running, cardio dance, kickboxing, cycling, swimming, dancing, Zumba, walking, and sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc.
Anaerobic exercises: involves any activity that breaks down glucose (sugar) for energy without using oxygen. These exercises are short but are high in intensity.
Anaerobic exercises can increase bone strength and density, can increase your power, can protect your joints, and can improve your balance and coordination. Examples of anaerobic exercises are weight lifting, jumping rope, sprinting, and biking.
Flexibility exercises: Activities that lengthen and stretch your muscles. Well-stretched muscles can achieve a full range of motion with ease. Stretch training improves athletic performance and allows you to perform your daily activities such as bending/stooping or reaching without difficulty.
Flexibility exercises usually involve slow controlled movements. Examples of flexibility exercises are; yoga, various stretching activities such as bend and twist or standing quad stretch, and Tai chi (a form of graceful exercise).
Walking: eases joint pain, boosts your immune system function, is very calming, has a positive effect on mental health preservation, and reduces stress. A mere 15-minute walk can curb your cravings, can tone your legs, can encourage creative thinking, can improve your mood, can boost your energy levels, and can reduce your risk of developing a cold or flu.
It is wise to increase the length of your walk; generally speaking, once you start walking, you lose track of time and end up walking longer than planned. It is simple. And it is a great starting point for anyone, especially those who hate exercise or the bare thought of it, and for those with medical conditions who cannot engage in high-intensity workouts.
You do not need a piece of elaborate equipment, just comfortable shoes for walking and some water. You can walk anywhere. You can walk in a mall, around a lake, in a big city, in your neighborhood, in a forest, or anywhere your heart desires.
Hiking: can decrease the risk of certain respiratory problems, can improve balance, can build muscles and bones, and can increase fitness. Just 1 hour of hiking can burn over 500 calories; of course, this depends on the amount of incline on the hike and the weight of your backpack.
Hiking can be a great starting choice for a beginner. You can choose how long you want to do it; a few hours or a few days. Hiking offers a lot of flexibility; there is a social aspect (group) connection to it. You can do it with family or friends.
Dancing: improves flexibility, strength, and endurance. It is a great way to stay fit for anyone. Dancing can also improve muscle tone and endurance, and coordination. It can also increase your physical confidence.
There are different types of dances to choose from like belly, hip hop, jazz, ballroom, salsa, square dancing, tap dancing, and ballet. You can dance right in the comfort of your home, put in your favorite CD, and dance until you drop.
Dancing offers a high level of fun. Some people feel more comfortable dancing with a group; there are many classes you can join in your community. Look around for a Zumba class or any other dance classes available to you.
Running/jogging: can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50%, can prevent liver and lung diseases, and can strengthen your heart, eyes, joints, and bowels. It is one of the exercises that makes it easier to lose weight. You can run around your neighborhood, a local high school track, a lake, or in the woods.
Swimming: is an activity that works your whole body from your head to your toes. It is an excellent alternative for people who have injuries, arthritis, and other conditions that make high-impact exercises difficult.
Swimming can tone your muscles. It can also build strength and endurance and can increase heart rate. The water provides gentle resistance and is very calming.
Yoga: can improve flexibility and strength balance. Yoga can help with back pain, may ease arthritis symptoms, can improve heart health, relaxes you, can improve your sleep, and is an excellent stress managing tool. It is a good technique for taking better care of yourself. Like walking, yoga offers you time for reflection. It can give you more energy and can improve your mood.
Do you like a challenge? Do you like taking risks and would like the opportunity to move to the next level in a relative amount of time? If you are constantly on the go, a high-impact workout might be right for you. There are many high-impact exercises like kickboxing that could benefit you.
Exercise offers something for everyone and every personality, from the homebody-bound person to the high maintenance energy-thrill seeking person and everything else in between. You can mix and match different exercises to add variety and spice to your exercise regimen.
For example, you can walk on Monday, do yoga on Wednesday, and jog/hike on Friday. The possibilities are endless. Weather conditions should not deter you from sticking to an exercise routine because you can also work out in the comfort of your home (home gym) or indoor gym or other facilities.
You can explore the option of joining a local sporting team in your community. You can join a basketball, football, baseball, soccer, or softball team. The most important thing is to get your body moving; whether it´s a simple walk around a mall or as high-powered as a kickboxing workout, the choice is yours.
Decide today to start a workout plan at least three times a week. If you keep up with exercise, your body may surprise you. It will be in shape, and you will have muscles you never knew you could have, not to mention a body that looks good in any clothing you wear.
The sensation you get of feeling good about yourself and your body is priceless. Explore the many ways you can incorporate exercise into your weekly schedule. Go on! Don´t be shy.
Move that body!