Exercise Is Amazing For What?

Depending on who you are, sometimes exercise can fit into the category of the "4 letter words" you would rather avoid. Many people think that you have to spend hours in the gym to get any benefit out of exercise or beat themselves through exercise for over eating.

On the other hand, exercise can be something you enjoy for the many benefits to the body, rather than to beat yourself up out of shame for enjoying food.

Let's look at different types of exercise:

Photo Credit: Fit For Life NI

Aerobic or Cardiovascular Exercise

This type is very good for your cardiovascular system, it helps pump more blood and oxygen through your heart, muscles, veins, and arteries.  Cardiovascular exercise is like cleaning your house - it's super important to vacuum the floors and dust throughout the weeks to keep your house feeling fresh. This philosophy works the same within the body. By getting your blood pumping, it moves things like dead blood cells, inflammation, and fatty deposits through organs that can dispose of them, as well as helps to open up capillaries and small blood vessels which improves circulation and skin.

Bonus! Cardio also helps to boost mood,  memory, and sleep!! Who doesn't want to feel better in their days?!  And not to mention its great for your lungs!

Examples would include running, walking quickly, biking, swimming, jumping rope, stair climbing, intense sports, hiking, mountain climbing, dancing, and even sex.

 

Strength Training or Anaerobic Exercise

Strength training is loading (or overloading) a specific muscle or muscle group forcing it to adapt and get stronger.  It is very useful for creating muscle tone, strength, physique, creating and preserving muscle mass, as well as protects bone density.  It can even lower your risk for cancer.

Bonus: According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, those who lifted weights every week had a 22% to 25% lower risk of colon cancer compared with those who did not lift weights, as well as a moderate reduction in the risk of kidney cancer.

Examples would be weight lifting using free-weights or machines, resistance bands, or even your own body weight.

My favorite though would be HIIT (High Intesity Interval Training) because you can combine both aerobic and anaerobic all-in-one, plus it's short-lived and intense so I can fit it into a half-hour of my day.

 

Flexibility Exercise

Flexibility exercise is just what it sounds like: you are increasing the flexibility and stretchiness of your muscles.

This type of exercise helps the body increase range of motion and allows you to release tension.  This improves athletic ability and protects you from injury.

Examples of this type of exercise are yoga and stretching.

Bonus! When you are stretching or doing Yoga, you relax and focus on your breath, which lowers stress and anxiety while improving your lung health.

Extra Bonus! It helps with posture, body pain, and overall quality of life.

 

Stability Exercise

This type of exercise is to increase your core strength, or center of your body, as well as improve balance.

Balance is very important in all stages of life because falls can lead to damage and even broken bones.

Examples of core training would be strengthening the abdominal muscles through standing and floor strength exercises.  Standing ab exercises help with both balance and core strength.

 

How to use this in your life: 

Depending on where you are at in your exercise journey, I suggest taking out and looking at your calendar.  Look for some times in the day that you can fit in a workout, giving yourself at least a half an hour to an hour.

As with starting any new routine, the hardest part is starting, so find something that you really enjoy. Naturally, there is resistance to a new structure in your life, so make sure not to overload yourself with too much, too fast. This will help you stick to it longer and get some enjoyment out of it.

As for me, I like hiking and mountain climbing so I fit that in as often as I can. When my schedule doesn't allow for that much time, my go-to is a HIIT workout because I can get a great workout in just 30 minutes while staying in my house, moving around in my living room, in front of the TV.

It looks like this:

  • Get my water and towel
  • Stretch and warm up my muscles
  • Push Play on a video that I like
  • Work, sweat, and improve a little each time
  • Stretch at the end
  • Shower
  • Feel On Top Of The World (endorphins are our friend)

 

Comment below with what you are doing for exercise 🙂

 

Stretched, Strengthened, and Energy Boosted,

~Nikki

 

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