Exercise helps prevent weight gain, improves your heart health and boosts your energy. It also strengthens muscles, bones and joints and helps you feel better about yourself.
Experts favor compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once. For example, a pushup works the chest, shoulders and triceps all at once.
The current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend strengthening exercises that target all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) at least two days a week. Generally, one set — or 12 to 15 repetitions of an exercise — per session is sufficient, but some studies suggest that more than one set may be better for most people. Choose a weight that tires the muscle or muscles by the last rep and be sure to rest about 48 hours between strength training sessions to allow for proper recovery.
A simple, effective exercise that works multiple muscles and core is the glute bridge. The move strengthens the muscles in your lower back, hamstrings and core while improving balance and stability. Fagan suggests starting with the exercise using just your bodyweight before incorporating weights.
Before beginning a new strength-training routine, consult a qualified health care professional or exercise physiologist for a movement screening to determine what exercises are safe and appropriate for your ability level. They can also teach you the correct form for each exercise to prevent injury. For example, improper technique during exercises like the deadlift or squat can result in back, knee or foot injuries. In addition, it is essential to have a clear and safe space in which to exercise that is free of trip hazards and any items you could knock over or pull over during your workouts.
Many exercises improve the ability to perform physical activity without becoming exhausted. This is known as endurance. Although most people think of marathon training when it comes to endurance exercise, there are a wide variety of workouts that can help you build your endurance. Some of these include cycling, swimming, walking up and down stairs, and yoga. Adding endurance exercise to your routine can increase the number of reps you can complete and improve your strength over time. It can also reduce your risk of injury. However, it is important to rest between endurance exercise sessions and to incorporate both strength and endurance training into your routine for the best results.
Unlike muscle-strength exercise, which involves lifting heavy weights, endurance exercise increases the amount of time that your muscles can exert force without getting tired. It also improves your cardiovascular system, which can increase your blood flow to the heart, lungs and other organs. The endurance you gain from endurance exercises can make it easier to do everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs or carrying groceries.
You can improve your endurance through aerobic activities such as running, swimming and biking, or through anaerobic exercises like sprinting. It is recommended that you try to get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance exercise (such as brisk walking) per week, as this can lead to better overall health.
Balance exercises involve the body’s core muscles and help you maintain a stable position. Balance training also improves proprioception, which helps your brain to know where your body is in space. This can help prevent injuries and improve performance in all types of exercise, including running.
Balance workouts are low-intensity exercises that focus on the foot, hips, ankles, and core. They can be done on a flat surface, such as a floor, a wobble board or a stability ball. They are best done on a regular basis for maximum benefit. Ideally, balance drills are done three times a week for at least 45 minutes. They are great for beginners, as they are very low-impact.
One of the most important factors in reducing falls is to improve your balance. Whether you are at risk of falling or not, balance exercises will strengthen your core and reduce injury. The exercises can be simple or more complex, and they can be done at home or outside in nature.
For example, you can try this simple balance exercise: Stand with your feet together and one leg extended straight out in front of you. Then, lift the other leg and reach it toward the opposite side, keeping all of your limbs straight. Then, lower the lifted leg back to its starting position and repeat.
Flexibility exercises stretch the muscles and can improve your range of motion. This helps you move more freely and may prevent injuries. It also helps you move more easily in daily activities like tying your shoes or reaching a shelf. It’s important to add flexibility exercises to your routine, but don’t overdo it. Performing too many stretching exercises can make your muscles tight, causing pain and injury.
In general, a more flexible person can bend farther and reach higher without discomfort than a less-flexible person. In contrast, strength and endurance exercises can increase muscle mass and decrease body fat more than flexibility exercise alone.
Unlike the other fitness components, flexibility is specific to joints and is affected by multiple musculoskeletal variables. Therefore, relationships between flexibility and health outcomes are more difficult to establish than those with other fitness components. This may explain why the strength of associations between flexibility tests and health outcomes is minimal in youth.
During workouts, warm up with aerobic exercises such as walking before adding flexibility exercises to avoid stiffness and injury. Also, be sure to follow aerobic exercise with a short period of dynamic stretching. This type of stretching involves moving your body through the same types of movements you used for your aerobic activity. This is called active recovery and is an important part of your training.fitness exercises