What Exercise Should I Do?
The type of exercise that is best for you depends on what your goals are. However, it would be beneficial to include aerobic, resistance and core exercises into your routine.
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise (CV) is exercising ‘with oxygen’. In simple terms this is exercise that raises your heart rate to between 65%-85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Examples of activities which raise your heart rate and can be defined as aerobic if completed within the specified heart rate range are:
The benefits of exercising regularly within this heart rate range include:
- Reduced body fat %
- Increased heart and lung function, thereby reducing your chances of developing heart disease
- Reduced blood pressure and pulse
- Reduced insulin resistance
- Production of endorphins, natural chemicals that act as pain killers and mood elevators providing a sense of well being
Resistance exercise is training with weights i.e. dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, medicine balls or your own body weight. The benefits of resistance training include:
- Increased metabolic function; muscle is metabolically active – it burns calories!
- Improved posture
- Increased muscular strength
- Increased tendon and ligament strength
Core stability exercises are exercises that recruit and strengthen the musculature within your lumber spine and pelvis. These exercises stabilize the trunk region thereby providing a strong base for all movements. The core muscles include: transversus abdominis, pelvic floor muscles, the diaphragm and the multifidus. If your body is functioning correctly, all movement should originate from the core.
It is advisable for beginners to participate in a Core Stability class to receive direction on the correct way to exercise core musculature. An increased number of other classes are now integrating an element of core stability into their teaching.
Another way to introduce your self to core exercises is to use a gym ball. Most gyms have them and if you buy one they generally have an exercise guide included. The purpose of a gym ball is to work your core by making you complete exercises on an unstable surface – a large blow up ball!
More recently the Body Pod™ has hit the market. The Body Pod™ is a smaller sausage shaped inflatable that also challenges you core in the same way as the gym ball. The main benefits of the Body Pod™ in comparison to the gym ball are that it is easier to store due to its size and you work closer to the ground so it is safer than the spherical gym ball.
More Exercise Questions and Answers:
Easy Beginners Exercise Plan
WLR's Take 5 Exercise Plan is designed to be done at home with minimal equipment.
You can use the exercise diary, database and tools in WLR to create and follow an exercise plan, and find out how many calories you burn. Click here to take a free trial.