If you are not an athlete or a serious workout – and you only want to work for your health or fit into your clothes better – the gym’s scene can be intimidating and excessive. What is the best exercise for me? How will I find the time?
Just have to walk on a treadmill, stationary bike, and weight machines can be enough to make you go back home straight to the couch.
However, some physical activity best for your body does not require a gym. It does not ask you to get fit enough to run a marathon. This “exercise” can do wonders for your health. They will help keep your weight under control, improve balance and range of motion, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, strengthen your bones, and even take off memory loss.
No matter what your age, height, or fitness level is, these are some of the best exercises you can do, which will help you get in shape and reduce the risk of disease:
You might call the perfect swim workout. The buoyancy of the H2O supports your body and take the strain off painful joints so you can move them more smoothly. “Swimming is good for people with arthritis because of less weight-bearing,” explains Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Studies have found that swimming exercise can improve your mental condition and put you in a better mood. Water aerobics is one more option. These classes help you burn a lot of calories and tone up.
2. Tai chi
Chinese martial art is a combination of movement and relaxation of both body and mind. It has been called “meditation in motion.” Tai chi includes a series of graceful movements, a smooth transition to the next. Because classes are offered at various levels, tai chi can be accessed – and valuable – for all ages and fitness levels. “It’s perfect for the elderly since balance is an important component of fitness, and the balance is what we lose as we get older,” says Dr. Lee.
Take classes to help you begin and learn the proper form. You can find tai chi courses at your local YMCA, health clubs, community centers, or senior centers.
3. Strength training
If you believe that strength training is macho, muscular activity, think again. Lifting light weights will not bulk up your muscles, but it will make them stronger. “If you do not use the muscles, they will lose their power over time,” said Dr. Lee.
Muscle helps burn calories. “The more toned up muscles you have, the more burn of calories, making it easier to maintain your weight,” says Dr. Lee. Similar to other exercises, strength training can also help preserve brain activities in later years.
Before starting a training program, be sure to learn the proper form from mild, with only one or two pounds. You should be able to lift the weight ten times easier. After a few weeks, increase that by one or two pounds if you can easily lift the matter through the entire range of motion more than 12 times, up to a slightly heavier weight.
Walking is simple yet powerful. It can help you stay slim, raise cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, keeping blood pressure in check, lift your mood, and lowering your risk for several diseases (diabetes and heart disease, for example). Numerous studies have found that walking and other physical activity can improve memory and reject age-related memory loss.
For this, you will require a well fitting pair of supportive shoes. Start by walking for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Over time, you can start to run farther and faster until you’re running for 60 or more minutes on 3 to 4 days of the week.
These exercises will not help you look better, but they do something equally important – strengthen the pelvic muscles that support the urinary bladder. Healthy pelvic muscles can go a long way in preventing incontinence. While many women are familiar with Kegels, this exercise can benefit men as well.
To do Kegel exercises correctly, squeeze the muscles you would use to prevent yourself from wasting water or gas. The contract for two or three seconds, then release. Be sure to completely relax the muscles of your pelvic floor muscles after contraction. Repeat this phenomenon ten times. Try to do four to five sets in a day.
Much of what we do for fun (and work) counts as exercise—sweeping the page count as physical activity. Likewise, ballroom dancing and playing with your children or grandchildren. As long as you do some aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day and include two days of muscle training a week, you can consider yourself an “active” person.