Exercise is an important part of a healthy fitness program. If you are thinking about starting a new program, you may wonder what is the best form of exercise for you. There are different benefits to every type of exercise.
What are your exercise goals? Do you want to lose weight? Do you need to tone up or build muscle? Aerobic exercise elevates the heart rate and burns calories, so that is the best exercise for weight loss. However, stretching and weight lifting can also help with weight loss. A combination of routines, with some variety in the workout, will give the best benefits for your health.
While they are all beneficial, each form of exercise has different benefits. Yoga and Pilates increase flexibility and strength. Aerobic exercise increase the heart rate and burns calories, important to weight loss. Weight training strengthens the muscle groups. While you may find a favorite, it is a good idea to mix it up a little so that you are getting an overall benefit. You can exercise conveniently at home, or find a fitness center or gym for motivation and instruction on proper technique Following is an overview of different types of exercise.
Yoga and Pilate’s
Yoga and Pilate’s benefit you by increasing flexibility. Muscles become more flexible as they expand and contract. Better flexibility improves range of motion, so that normal activities put less stress on the joints. Resistance training is also strengthening as it forces the muscles to lift an hold your body weight. Yoga and Pilates can be done at home, in a quiet space, with a mat. Many people find it helpful to enter a class so that they can learn the postures and benefits from the motivation of being in a group.
Aerobic exercise is any form of repetitive, rhythmic exercise that uses your large muscles makes you breath faster and gets your heart rate beating faster. As you exercise aerobically, you lungs work harder to bring in more oxygen. You heart pumps harder to and blood with more oxygen to your muscles. Aerobic exercise increases endurance, helping your body to use oxygen more effectively. It makes you lungs, heart and muscles stronger. Examples of aerobic exercise are: bicycling, stair climbing, cross-country skiing, dancing, ice skating, roller, skating, jogging, jumping rope, tennis, swimming and walking briskly.
Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart, improves circulation and muscles tone. It decrease blood pressure, resting heart rate. and resting respiratory rate. It increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol), cardiac and blood flow. The benefits of aerobic exercise include reducing stroke risk, strengthening the heart, better circulation, more oxygen in the lungs. The calories burned help you to lose weight.
Many people like to engage in exercise in classes, that they find fun, educational and motivational. Aerobics classes combine exercises, stretching muscles, burning fat and building muscles. Dancelike exercises are performed to music. You can find aerobic classes at health clubs and fitness centers. There are different levels of classes, starting at a slow pace. Advanced, high impact, classes are for physically fit people who want a hard workout.
Taking a daily walk is a practical exercise for many. It can be done anywhere and no special equipment is needed.
Anaerobic exercise is sudden strenuous activity, such as weight lifting. Anaerobic exercise builds up muscles. It stops ofter, no requiring you to bring as much oxygen into your body. If you are starting a weigh lifting program, start with light weights. This is important for beginners, as joints and tendons need to to adapt the the increase in resistance. People who are out of shape can be prone to overuse injuries, such and bursitis or tendonitis. You can start by using a set of lights weights and doing one set of weigh lifting three times a week. After two months, add a second set of 10 reps, or include a new exercise. While this may seem like slow going, it is far better then injuring yourself and being unable to proceed.
It is a good idea to have a program designed for you by a personal trainer. A trainer can educate you about the muscle group sand the importance of good posture Fitness center and gyms have equipment to work the various muscle groups effectively. If you are starting out, a fitness instructor can be very helpful in designing an individual program for you. Following are major muscle groups and the best types of exercise for each group
Gluteals: “glutes” or gluteus maximus is the big muscle covering your butt. Exercises are the squat, lunge and the leg press machine.
Quadriceps: Group of muscles in the front of the thigh. Exercise include: squats, lunges, leg extension machine and leg press machine.
Hamstrings: Muscles on the back of the thigh. Exercises include squats, lunges, leg press machine, lg curl machine.
Hip abductors and adductors. Muscles of the inner and outer thigh. The abductors are on the outside and move the leg away from the body. The adductors are on the inside and pull the leg across the centerline of the body. These muscles can be worked with side lying leg lifts, standing cable pulls and multi-hip machines.
Calf: Calf muscles are on the back of the lower leg. Standing calf raises give the muscles group a good workout.
Low Back. The erector spinae muscles extend the back and aid good posture. Exercises include the back extension machine and prone back extension exercises. Squats and lifts also work these muscles.
Abdominal: Large flat muscle running the length of the abdomen down the sides and front of the abdomen. Exercises include crunches, curls, and reverse crunches and curls.
Pectoral: Large fan shaped muscle that covers the front of the upper chest. Exercises include push ups, pull ups and bench press.
Rhomboids: Muscles in the middle of the upper back between the shoulder blades.Exercises that bring the shoulder blades together, such are chin-ups work these muscles
Trapezius: Upper Portion of the back’ “traps”, are the muscles running from the back of the neck to the shoulder. Exercises include uprights rows and shoulder shrugs.
Latisimus dorsi: large muscles of the mid back. Exercises include pull-ups, chin-ups, one arm bent rows, dips on parallel bars and the lat pull-down machine.
Deltoids: Cap of the shoulder. Different exercises target different sections and include dumbbell raises, push-ups, and bench press.
Biceps: Front of the upper arm. The best exercise is the biceps curs.
Triceps: Back of the arm. Exercises include push-ups, dips, triceps extension.
Whatever form of fitness you choose, it is a good idea to start slowly and increase activity gradually, to avoid injury. A fitness instructor can give valuable advice about proper technique and posture, especially at the beginning of the program. Before starting a new exercise program, consult your physician.