Varying your workout routine can have positive benefits
Whether you are a couch potato or someone who goes to the gym every day, it helps to take a look at your life’s routines and see if there is a way to improve your health. Getting good exercise is at the top of nearly every list. Exercise is important for your heart health, your metabolism, your weight, and even your mood.
When you look at the level of exercise in your life, what do you find? Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting the best kinds of exercise? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends guidelines for the amount of exercise and the types of exercise you should get each week. Take a look below and see how you measure up:
1. Aerobic/endurance activities
The CDC recommends getting 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Brisk walking or moderately fast biking are examples of moderate-intensity workouts. Or if you like a harder workout, you can aim for 1 hour and 15 minutes per week of high-intensity aerobic activity, such as running, spinning, kickboxing, or swimming. Or you can do an equivalent combination of moderate and high-intensity activities.
2. Muscle-strengthening activities
The recommendations on strength-building activities are to work on all major muscle groups, which includes the muscles in your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms. The CDC suggests muscle-strengthening exercises two days per week (but does not specify the amount of time). Strengthening activities could include weight-lifting or bodyweight workouts that you can do for free, such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats.
In addition to these recommendations from the CDC, the American Heart Association also recommends two more types of exercise that are essential to a healthy life:
3. Balance exercise
Any exercise that emphasizes balance is good for you, especially as you get older and become more prone to falls. Yoga and Tai Chi are two examples of exercise programs that may help you with balance. You don’t need to attend expensive classes. You can get instructional videos and practice at home.
4. Flexibility exercise
Keeping your muscles flexible is important to a healthy exercise routine. Starting flexibility exercise while you are young is a great way to keep your muscles limber and give you more freedom of movement as you grow older. Yoga, Pilates, and sports stretches are examples of flexibility exercises.
Is your exercise routine incorporating all four of these types of exercise? If not, the American Heart Association’s Get Moving website is a great way to understand the recommendations and to begin an exercise plan that works for you.
We know that it can be hard to find time to fit exercise into your day. If you aim for 30 minutes per day of exercise, you should be able to meet all of the guidelines and give yourself renewed energy.
If you currently don’t exercise much at all, be sure to talk to your doctor about a safe way to begin. It may be hard at first, but making exercise a part of your everyday life is well worth it!
The Salter School is a career-focused training school with three locations in Massachusetts. We provide helpful tips and advice in our weekly blog for students. To learn more about the Salter School, contact us online.