Everyone knows that exercise is important. It helps not only keep our bodies healthy, but our minds as well. Some people go to the gym, while others prefer to stay at home and do their workouts. Most of us exercise with good intentions, but a lot of times we get used to or have an idea in our head that doing one or two types of exercises and forget about others that are just as important for full body health. There are actually four types of exercises and in this blog today I am going to go over each of them with you.
All of what I am about to tell you can be done with machines at a gym or at home or at work with a few dumb bells and some resistance straps. I am going to let you know some examples, but if you are going to work out at home, especially, google at home exercises for each type of exercise for find YouTube videos to show you how they are done. I do want to ask you to please talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan. With that being said, let us begin.
- Balance Building
Balance building is very important for everyone, but especially older people.Building up and improving your balance can help prevent falls now and in the future.Even if you are a young person, building your balance now and continuing as your hair continues to grey, will be a great benefit to you in your golden years.Something to try out for this purpose would be Tai Chi, (check for classes in your community.) Also there are a lot of exercises you can do at home or in the office by just using a chair or nothing at all if you are that balanced already.Simple things such as: standing on one foot, heel to toe walking etc.Also note that any lower body, strength building exercises will also help with balance as well.
- Strength Building
Strength building improves muscle mass and your ability to do some activities will become easier.(Hey, I know 25 year olds that can’t open a jar of pickles!) In order to build strength you must use some resistance.Start out with small weights.If you cannot lift a weight more than eight times, it is too heavy. (I know!I always wondered how you knew too!) Start out with weights that challenge you but are not too heavy. As you build your muscles, you will gradually be able to add more weight. Do not push yourself! You can cause injury and damage to your muscles and ligaments if you try too much too fast. You can exercise each muscle group twice away but never the same group two consecutive days. Strength training is important for both your upper body and your lower body. For your upper body, using weighs or resistance bands or machines at the gym you can work out your arms, shoulders, and upper back, as well as your core (midsection). Your lower body your legs, your caboose, your lower back. As I mentioned before, there are exercises for this that can be done right from your home or office, so going to a gym isn’t mandatory. Again search the internet for strength building exercise tutorials.
- Flexibility Exercises
These are simple stretching exercises meant to help your body to be more relaxed and to help you bend, move and reach farther. It is important that you warm your muscles up before you do any stretching. Stretching cold muscles can result in injury so something very low impact like a 5 minute walk or something like that, just to get your blood flowing and your muscles loosened up is good. If you feel a slight pulling sensation while stretching that is normal, but it should in no way be painful. If it becomes too painful, pull back until it doesn't hurt anymore. As you continue to stretch your muscles and ligaments, you will become more flexible and therefore better able to reach further, but do not push yourself. You do not want to pull anything or cause injury to yourself. All good things come with time. Remember to breathe. It is easy to want to hold your breath while stretching, but, for obvious reasons, it’s very important your keep breathing! Flexibility exercises are great for the neck, shoulders, chest, back and legs. (You can check on-line or in your community for classes such as Pilates or Yoga)
- Endurance Building
Endurance exercises is probably the one area that nobody skips out on (if they work out.) Everyone knows that doing endurance exercises such as: walking, jogging, swimming, cycling etc. is very important to the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. These are the exercises known to keep the weight off. This is a very important type of exercise, but in conjunction with the other three types, will be even better. Stretching after this type of exercise is recommended and has been shown to prevent cramping in the muscles. I’ve said it a hundred times already and I’ll say it once more DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF! Start out with what you can do and over time, again you will build up endurance and will continue to be able to challenge yourself.
All four types of exercises are important to the health of your body. Again they can all be done in your home or office, so not wanting to go to the gym is no longer an excuse for not wanting to get started! Remember to talk to your doctor about any exercise plans you have, eat healthy, and stay hydrated, stretch and DON’T PUSH YOURSELF! (I had to get it in there one more time!)
Slow and steady wins the race!