Here we will go over a few of the most popular forms of exercise as well as talking in more detail about their benefits. Remember though, anything that is physically exerting is exercise so there are many things not mentioned here which you can do which may be more suited to you.
Although almost everyone does it daily, many wouldn’t think to class walking as exercise. Walking is low cost, easy to access and easy to fit into even a busy schedule. As a light level of cardiovascular activity walking helps your respiratory system and heart to strengthen. It also helps strengthen your bones as they adapt to carrying the weight of your body more often. As a low impact exercise walking avoids joint stress while it improves the muscles.
You can walk in practically any location for free. By increasing the speed or going up a hill or a stairs, you can also turn walking into a moderate activity making sure it remains beneficial to you as your fitness levels become higher. Walking is easy to fit into a daily routine as well. Walking to and from work or school can be a good way to build it in. If a trip down to the shops takes ten minutes in the car, maybe you could walk it in thirty, that way you get thirty minutes of exercise by only taking twenty minutes out of your schedule.
Jogging or running
These are extremely popular forms of exercising at an intense level. They share many of the characteristics of walking such as the low cost and ease of fitting them into a routine. As well as being an intense exercise, running is also high impact. This means that it puts a lot of stress on joints, especially for heavier people. Consult your doctor if you think you may encounter any problems with running before you start. You may want to start out with walking, build up to a faster pace and then gradually move to running. Making sure that you can still speak as you jog or run is a good way to check that you aren’t building up too quickly, but it should definitely be more difficult than a walk. Slowly increase the length of your runs as you improve, rather than just trying to go faster.
This is one of the best forms of exercise, it is an intense form of exercise which can be started slowly and then built up as fitness levels improve. It is also generally quite cheap, if you see your doctor you may find that yours is one of the many areas in which local authorities provide reduced rate or free swimming facilities for people advised to exercise by their doctor. As well as being cardiovascular exercise, swimming is very good for fat reduction, exercises a lot of major muscles and is low impact so avoids the risk of joint injuries.
Another intense exercise, cycling burns calories to help control weight. It is a good alternative to running, particularly for those with joint problems or weight issues as the problems of jarring movements and supporting your weight on your lower body are eliminated. It is also good for the cardiovascular system.
Aerobics or dance
These exercises can be at variable levels of intensity depending on the style. They are cardiovascular activities which also benefit your strength, coordination and balance.
Weight training is intense exercise aimed at increasing strength, endurance and muscle mass. It does benefit overall fitness but is best done in conjunction with other forms of exercise.
Yoga and similar activities are light-moderate stretching activities. They help with flexibility and balance as well as improving your coordination and breathing.