There is no magic bullet to fitness. You have to make some lifestyle tweaks, including eating healthily, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and getting adequate sleep. When it comes to exercising, you must work smart. You should also bear in mind that not all workouts are designed the same. Some tend to be more effective than others, translating into more health benefits. Here are 4 of the best exercises that can enhance your long-term health.
1. Endurance Exercises
Commonly known as aerobic, endurance exercises are physical activities that significantly elevate your heart and breathing rates. They are important in keeping you healthy, enhancing your fitness level, and helping you perform your everyday tasks efficiently. These activities can boost the health of your circulatory system, lungs, and heart. They also play an important role in preventing or delaying diseases like hypertension, diabetes, abdominal and breast cancers, and many other lifestyle diseases. Activities that increase endurance include:
- Power walking or jogging
- Yard tasks like raking and mowing
- Playing sports like basketball, handball, or tennis
- Warm-up for your endurance exercises by engaging in a light activity like easy walking. Do the same after working out to help you cool down. Consider cycling as you go to before and after endurance-building activities. Cycling is the perfect cardio activity to help your body warm-up or cool down and build stamina.
- Pay attention to your body even as you are exercising. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy, heartburn, or pain in the chest.
- Increase your fluid intake while working out.
- Dress appropriately for outdoor activities – put on layered clothes for cold weather and light ones for warm weather.
- Put on safety gear like a helmet to avert injuries when bicycling.
2. Balance Exercises
These workouts play an instrumental role in preventing falls, a common life-threatening problem among senior citizens. Various lower-body strength workouts will also reinforce your balance. Tai Chi is a perfect example of balance-improving exercises. This “moving meditation” entails making slow, gentle, and specific body movements while breathing intensely. Other examples of balance activities include:
- Standing on one foot for 1-2 minutes, then doing the same with the other foot. You can start by supporting yourself with something sturdy such as a chair. Then get away from the chair and try to perform this movement.
- Heel-to-toe walking. This movement involves placing the front foot’s heel close to the toes of the other foot as you walk.
- Hold on to your workout partner or a sturdy chair if you feel you need support when starting.
- Seek guidance from your doctor if you’re having doubts about a specific exercise.
3. Resistance Training
This exercise acts specifically on body composition. It can help cut body fat and build lean muscle mass. It’s perfect for individuals with lots of fat in the abdominal region, a common risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Resistance training combined with endurance exercises may significantly increase high-density lipoprotein (healthy cholesterol) and reduce low-density lipoprotein (unhealthy cholesterol). So consider bicycling before or after resistance training. If you’re suffering from a chronic disease that compromises your respiratory system, implementing a gas-powered bicycle motor kit will greatly assist your cycling experience, making it greatly effortless. Examples of resistance training include:
- Free weights, including dumbbells, hand weights, or barbells
- Weight machines
- Body-resistance workouts like squats, push-ups, and chin-ups
- Don’t fall into the trap of holding your breath during resistance training. Instead, breathe frequently throughout the session
- Exhale as you push or lift, and inhale as you relax
4. Flexibility Workouts
Flexibility exercises are crucial in boosting your musculoskeletal health, allowing you to attain a high level of flexibility. They also prevent joint pains, cramps, and a lot of other muscle-related issues. The flexibility you acquire from these workouts helps you maintain resistance training as well as endurance activities. Examples of flexibility workouts include ankle stretch and calf stretch.
- Warm-up before stretching your muscles – you can start with aerobic or strength workouts.
- If it hurts, reduce the length of the stretch you’re making
- Breathe regularly while stretching
These four exercises can help you attain your fitness goals and improve your overall health. But you must do them regularly and daily. You also need to put safety first while doing them. If you’re unsure concerning a certain physical activity, talk to a qualified and experienced fitness expert.
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