What Type of Exercise Should You Take To Improve Your Fitness?
Article by Sarah Dillon
Most people know that exercise is good for them but many just can’t be bothered to do much. They can also struggle about where to start in terms of their exercise and what type to do. This article will set you straight on how much to do and what type o f exercise to do.
Many people think that it will take too much time and effort for little reward. If you are thinking along these lines you should know that, if you keep active throughout your life you are up to a third less likely to die at an early age.Exercise is good for your mental health, warding off stress and depression, helps you sleep better, helps keep bones strong, and helps prevent joint and back pain by keeping them mobile.
In addition, you should know that exercise does not have to be strenuous and prolonged to do you good. Any amount of exercise can do you some good, even if it’s just walking to the shops a few times a week. You do not have to run a marathon or sweat for hours in the gym. In fact, there is good evidence that mild to moderate exercise, is for most people the best way to better health.
What to do and how much?
It is much the best thing to take up an activity that you will enjoy, as you are much more likely to stick with it. Some people may get satisfaction in a gym, undergoing a tailored program on their own, and gradually improving their strength and performance with measureable results. Many others however, prefer a game with other players bringing a social and competitive element into it. Games such as football, tennis, badminton, and squash enable you to get fit whilst enjoying beating an opponent at the same time.
There are in fact, different types of exercise: aerobic, strength training, and flexibility, and the best way to ensure all round fitness is to incorporate some of each of these elements into your routine.
Aerobic exercise uses oxygen, increased amounts of oxygen over the resting rate, and raises your rate as the heart works harder, pumping more blood to the muscles. The heart is composed of muscle itself, and this exercise of the heart is good for it, strengthening it along with improving lung capacity, and artery health.
You should aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times per week. The exercise should raise your heart rate and make you slightly short of breath, i.e. mild to moderate exercise. If you can’t manage this straight away you can begin gently with brisk walking, graduating in time to jogging, or, you can split up the 30 minute sessions into two or even three shorter equivalent sessions.
If you just want to keep your heart healthy and maintain general health, then you only need your heart rate to go up to about 50-60% of your maximum. Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age in years from 220. For a 50 year old person, for example, the maximum heart rate would be 170 beats per minute, and therefore a health rate during exercise would be 85-102.
If you are trying to lose weight or want to increase fitness then you will need to work harder by gradually increasing the intensity, or varying intensity over longer periods of time. Any adjustments should be carried out in small increments rather than overdoing things.
A rounded exercise program should include some strength training which helps to build and maintain muscle, and generally improves body appearance. Strength training involves moving your muscles against a resistance of some kind. The resistance can be supplied by strong elastic bands, free weights or weight lifting machines. You can even use the weight of your own body as in press ups. General training could include some strength training twice a week of upper and lower body muscles.
Some everyday activities such as gardening or carrying shopping can help with this kind of muscle building.
If muscles aren’t stretched they tend to shorten and become less elastic. They are then more at risk of injury when called upon. It is a good idea then to include some short sessions of muscle exercises to counter this.
There are different ways of achieving this. Many of these exercises are incorporated in the routines of Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi, by gently easing and stretching the body into different positions. Increased body flexibility can help breathing and balance, as well as protect joints.
With all these exercises and undertakings start gently with small goals and gradually work upwards increasing intensity and duration as you become fitter.
About the Author
Check out Sarah’s site where she reviews the best baby bassinet products and kolcraft bassinet range and bassinets and cradles