For some it is dreaded, for others it is gratifying. Exercise is a wonderful thing for a multitude of reasons: it can be done any time of day (and not all at once); it can be done with other people (family, friends, etc.); and lastly, it provides tremendous health benefits that can improve your mood, give you plenty of energy, and even help you live longer! All of these separately are wonderful, but together they are even better; if you don’t partake in exercise, you are truly doing yourself a disfavor. Let’s break down these characteristics to see why exercise is good for you.
How often should I exercise?
It is recommended that you exercise (at least) 5 days a week for (at least) 30 minutes at a moderate intensity; moderate means you should not be able to carry a conversation. More than 30 minutes would be great; if you’re trying to lose weight, 60-90 minutes would be better. In addition to that, you should do 2-3 days of muscle strengthening for all the major muscle groups. A good thing about exercise is that you don’t have to do it all at one time; it can be broken up into intervals throughout the day. So no excuses, “I didn’t have time,” nope, that doesn’t work anymore.
What kind of exercise is the best?
This is a difficult question to answer because each type of exercise brings its own dish to the table. The most accurate answer is to do all types of exercise because a well-rounded exercise program will provide you with the most benefits.
Types of Exercise
In general, as long as you’re moving, it counts as exercise. Aerobic exercise has the most variety. Here are some examples: swimming, running, walking, rollerblading, cycling, tennis, basketball, dancing, kick-boxing, hockey, soccer, elliptical trainer, ice skating, and any machine at the gym. I bet you didn’t think of these, but even jumping on the trampoline, playing kickball, and jumping rope are physical activities (probably more popular for teens). Strength training doesn’t have as much variety, but that doesn’t make it any less important. You can do muscle strengthening in your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and abdomen; there are different techniques for all five.
Finally, for stretching, there are positions for all the major body parts, and some of the minor ones. A yoga class may be good to work on stretching, flexibility, and balance.
Benefits of Exercise
The last (and most important) thing you need to know about exercise is what it can do for you. Don’t do yourself a disfavor and miss out on all of these benefits. Exercise: