There are as many types of exercises out there as there are reasons to work out – here’s what you need to know about some of the most popular methods.
Whatever your lifestyle, body type and fitness goals, there is a good form of exercise out there for you. Most likely, whether you want to train to get fit, improve your health or to exercise to boost your overall wellness, what’s best for you will be a combination of a few.
But which types of exercise are best for your personal fitness goals? Each different workout type comes with its own health benefits and uses. Consider this a simplified guide to some of the most popular types of exercises, to discover which is best suited to you…
Cardio is all about exercising your heart, lungs and circulatory system – so workouts which get your heart pumping like running, rowing, cycling, and swimming all come under this category. These kind of aerobic exercises are shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure and high cholesterol, regulate weight. Cardio exercises also burn fat and calories, making them great for those with weight loss goals – it’s no wonder, then that research by Fitbit found that running is the most popular form of exercise in the world.
If you’re looking for an exercise which can be as relaxing as it can be a tough workout, look no further than yoga. One of the oldest forms of exercise in the world, yoga focuses on stretching and breathing to improve flexibility and strength. As well as working out your physical body, yoga is proven to reduce stress, with studies showing it lowers levels of cortisol in the body, otherwise known as the stress hormone. No other exercise provides such an all-round state of both physical and mental wellbeing – making it the ultimate holistic approach to health.
Resistance training is often used interchangeably with weight training, and essentially refers to building muscle by using resistance – be it by using free weights, dumbbells, barbells, a weight machine at the gym, or even by using your own body weight as the resistance. Resistance training is popular for its abilities to improve muscle strength and tone, and maintaining your weight by improving your muscle to fat ratio, because as you workout with resistance, you’re burning fat and calories while also building muscle: an ideal combination.
Within the area of resistance training lies weight lifting. There are two kinds of standard lifts in this: a single-movement lift from the floor to extended upwards while standing, and a two-movement lift from the floor to your shoulders, and then extending your arms upright. Both involve lifting heavy weights or barbells. Weight lifting isn’t just about bulking up and building huge biceps (though it can do that) – experts have also shown that this kind of strength training boosts metabolism, maintains weight loss, and improves bone density.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a more specific form of cardiovascular workout which is often said to be one of the most efficient cardio workouts. HIIT exercises involve short bursts of maximum-effort, intense aerobic exercise, interspersed with a lower intensity exercise in between each burst. It’s said to give your heart and core a great workout, while also being shown to burn more calories than exercising at a continuous pace, with research showing that after intense workouts, your body continues to burn calories as it heals the muscle wear.
Looking for a training program that is a good fit for you? Have a look at the programs available on LIFE ON FITNESS to find the one that works for you.