According to a study published in published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, only 3% of Americans live what is considered a healthy lifestyle (https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(16)00043-4/abstract). A health-centered lifestyle includes eating unprocessed foods, not smoking, and of course, exercising.
If you’ve had a hard time figuring out how to exercise for your goals, this article will help you. There isn’t a one size fits all piece of gym equipment out there. Continue reading and we’ll help you find what you need.
There are many myths that might prevent you from strength training; for example, many women fear it’ll make them look bulky or manly. While other people think it isn’t worth the time because it burns fewer calories than cardio.
The truth is, strength training can help you build long, lean muscles while burning more calories as you would with cardio. Plus, it boosts your metabolism which will help you continue to burn calories, even while you rest (https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/strength-training-for-fat-loss-building-a-bigger-engine.html).
Additional benefits of strength training include:
Gaining muscle mass is great because it enables you to lift heavier objects in your day to day life while removing unwanted fat from your body. It also makes you feel more energized throughout the day and helps you sleep better at night.
When you are performing strength training exercises, like deep squats or lifting free weights, you are also strengthening a wide range of connective tissues. These connective tissues include the ligaments, fascia, cartilage, and tendons (https://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-training-your-tendons-is-important-and-11-ways-to-do-it/).
These pieces work together to connect the power of your muscles to all your bones and joints. Not only can it improve your flexibility, it can also decrease your chances of hurting yourself while playing sports, stretching, or even carrying your children.
An estimated 1.5 million fractures in people 50 years of age and older are reported annually (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006). As you age, your bones can weaken and become more prone to disfigurements, breakages, and illnesses like osteoporosis.
However, studies have shown that strength training exercises put stress on your bones that allow them to become more dense and stronger. In fact, lifting lower weights with higher repetition seems to be the formula that gives the best results for the bones.
Because muscle weighs more than fat, you will see the numbers on your scale increase after starting a new strength training routine. But don’t be alarmed. Instead, of reading the scale, look at the way your clothes are fitting.
Strength training will reveal a heavier body with a slimmer, more toned composition. You may also notice yourself feeling less tired while going up and down the stairs in your home and walking long distances.
Whereas using cardio to lose weight will result in more burn out. To maximize fat loss, use heavier weights with lower reps.
Your body can use cardio as an all-natural miracle drug. Not only will it help you meet your fitness goals of possibly running faster or jumping higher.
Cardio helps your brain ward off dementia while making your heart, lungs, and immune system function improve (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax). There are many excellent pieces of equipment like stationary bikes and treadmills you can purchase to get all your cardio benefits, but your own body will work in a pinch too.
Additionally, when aerobic exercises are performed correctly, you can experience nearly as much muscle growth as you can from weight training. Here are a few other benefits:
You will lose weight when you are burning more calories through exercise than you are receiving from food. Cardio gives you a level of flexibility that isn’t as easy to accomplish with other types of exercise. It enables you to increase your intensity by implementing weights or adjusting your speed without changing the exercise you’re performing.
For instance, if running is your favorite form of exercise, adding ankle weights, dumbbells, or a weighted vest will add resistance. This resistance will make your body work harder while keeping your exercise the same.
You can also do cardio with low or high impact if you have a bad knee for example. The options for diversity here will keep you focused on your fitness goals because there’s less room for boredom.
Cardio trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. This will reduce your resting heart rate and cause you to breathe deeper.
These factors also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol which decreases your risks of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
Cardio reduces the number of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol from our bodies. These hormones contribute to the feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety you may feel (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743516303139).
It can also remove some of the normal brain and memory decline that accompanies aging. Though cardio can’t permanently cure any of these factors, it’s a great way to help ease the symptoms without the side effects that come from some medications.
Most people don’t realize how important balance is to our everyday functions. You use it to walk, tie your shoes, and even get up from your chair.
Balance training works the muscles that keep your body upright like your core and legs. Working these groups will improve your overall stability, coordination, athleticism, and prevent you from falling; especially as you age.
Balance exercises range from the most complicated yoga poses to simply placing the heel of one foot in front of the toes of the other, like you’re walking along a tightrope. As your balance improves, you’ll be able to hold intermediate poses for longer amounts of time and with closed eyes.
You can use balancing equipment to help you work your way to more difficult exercises.
Balance exercises are low impact, so they won’t harm your joints or cause injuries in other parts of your body. This form of exercise works your arms, legs, core (including your back) and glutes while challenging your flexibility, strength and aerobic abilities.
Because so many muscle groups are being challenged, at once, balance training will increase your ability to perform more difficult exercises. This is especially beneficial to athletes like gymnasts and basketball players.
Because balance training challenges your core muscles and improves your posture, it can help reduce your back pain. Especially if the pain is mainly located in your lower back.
One in four adults over the age of 65 falls each year (https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/falls-prevention-facts/). This puts an elderly person in an ER every 19 minutes.
Having arthritis or a similar condition like osteoarthritis can increase your likelihood of falling. Because balance exercises help increase the stamina in your knees and other areas of your body, you can experience fewer side effects like pain and stiffness.
Inversion therapy involves putting your head in a position where it’s lower than your heart. These inverted positions can relieve your joints of pressure, reduce mental stress, and help detoxify your body.
This type of exercise can be performed using inversion chairs or tables and a hammock type product called a yoga inversion swing. The full body benefits, however, don’t end there.
Inversion therapy can work wonders for your health including:
Poor blood circulation can cause memory loss, dizziness, varicose veins, and vision loss. When you add inversion therapy into your health routine, you can alleviate these symptoms and serious illness.
However, if you have hypertension speak to your doctor before trying inversion therapy. It can raise your blood pressure and cause additional stress to your system.
Because it helps stretch your spine and takes pressure off the soft tissues in your vertebrae, inversion therapy can relieve stress and pain in your back (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/expert-answers/inversion-therapy/faq-20057951). It also flushes harmful compounds that are found in or around the joints because of arthritis.
Inversion therapy can improve your flexibility over time. It promotes micromovements in your spine that can make you stronger.
This new strength can make it easier for you to bend and reach. You might even see improved posture. These benefits are especially important if you sit for long periods from day to day.
When you train for speed and agility, your movements become more fluid and balanced. It also gives you more mental control over the way you move.
This means you will become better at making fast stops and turns and moving in a synchronized way. Speed and agility training can help you improve your coordination and balance while it helps build pathways between your brain and body.
The main reason you can become injured is failing to use the correct posture while moving. This can be a result of not having control over your body and alignment while you’re being active.
Agility training can help you improve these aspects to keep you from hurting yourself. This will protect your more sensitive body parts like your shoulders, back, and knees.
Because difficult exercises cause your muscles to tear before they rebuild, you can experience pain, discomfort, and lower energy levels for a few days after the activity. This can stop you from continuing your routine in those days to come.
The bursts of movement you perform during agility training can build strength in your musculoskeletal system. This can decrease the amount of time it takes your body to recover.
Resistance bands are among the most inexpensive yet effective pieces of exercise equipment on the market. You can use them to improve muscle tone, flexibility, throughout your body.
Here are ways of incorporating bands into your routine can help you:
Resistance bands are lightweight and can easily be folded up to fit into your carry on or gym bag. They come in a variety of tension levels giving you the feeling of lifting between 15 and 200 lbs.
Physical therapists use resistance bands to help their clients heal from knee and hip injuries (https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/injury-knee-pain-16/physical-therapy). They are also a suggested method of therapy for patients with arthritis and joint diseases.
Resistance bands come in flat and tubular shapes with handles. They are great options for strength training regardless of your fitness level.
They can be used for anything from bicep curls to tools for stretching.