Given the number of fitness choices available today can be a big dilemma what to choose for your own daily fitness plan. There are any number of high intensity options, options that utilize some sort of equipment, options with stations, weights, balls, bands. It is endless. This does not even come close to looking at some of the wellness orientated classes that have added intensity to fit the criteria for a cardio type of work out. And what if your not a gym person or prefer the outdoors to the indoors. Maybe you like solo vs a class full of people or perhaps the other way around. In any event not having options is not an excuse any more for not taking care of your fitness. Choosing what is best for you might be more of a challenge. The bottom line is if you want to meet basic exercise recommendations you will have to come up with a menu of things that meets the following criteria:
30-45 minutes of cardio type exercise 4 plus times a week. This means anything that gets your heart rate up to your training rate. This is a good way to increase your bodies fat burning mode and strengthen that big and all important heart muscle.
Strength Training 2 times a week. This does not necessarily mean weight training although that is a form of strength training. It could mean power yoga or a circuit class that uses stations and some supports (balls, bands, hand weights etc). There are also fitness classes that target strength training using your own body weight as the resistance. If your an outdoors only person there are parks with par-courses that focus on building strength.
Do the above for the rest of your life and that means weekends, vacations and even holidays. It becomes a way of life.
What people may not realize is that most of what is referred to as aging is actually decay. Aging will happen naturally but decay can be delayed if we make lifestyle choices that keep it at a distance. So while the above may seem extreme it will keep you feeling and looking younger longer. Exercise alone is not enough but it is a good practice. You will also need to be mindful about your nutrition, emotional connections and sense of purpose . However, exercise is the base for keeping your body more vibrant and for you to reap the benefits of what that means. Exercise increases our energy levels,
helps us feel challenged and engaged, forces our bodies back to a very natural state (working and sweating) and changes your blood chemistry so it is inflammatory. All these things make it a hard to dispute why fitness is so important.
Strength training is the bullet that wards off the 10% of muscle loss you can expect to see every ten years or so after age 40. It also makes a big difference in the bone loss you will experience over time both of which you want to minimize to maintain quality of life.
So you may have noticed that I have not even addressed the importance of exercise for weight loss and sustaining weight loss. That is another blog unto itself and for the sake of shining a small light on this exercise will allow the body to loose wight faster when combined with a healthy eating plan. It is one of the only things that will help you sustain weight loss after you have done all that hard work. Exercise and maintaining a healthy eating plan as part of your life long habits program will mean you don’t need to revisit a weight loss cycle again.
In support of you and whatever takes you closer to your healthy lifestyle, more energy, fewer aches and pains and a longer, happier life.