🏋️♀️ Discover the 4 types of exercises you should be doing
Exercise is vital to good health. However, humans are creatures of habit and tend to do exercise doing what they enjoy which can lead to neglecting essential forms of exercise. There are four main types of exercise:
- Flexibility; and
Aerobic exercise includes activities that work your cardiovascular system through speeding up your heart rate and breathing, and such activities are running, rowing, swimming, and cycling. Aerobic exercise is important for many body functions as it helps to relax blood vessel walls, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels, burns body fat, reduce inflammation, boosts good HDL cholesterol while lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels, and can also assist in improving mood[i]. Consistent, long term aerobic exercise reduces the risks of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, breast and colon cancer while also decreasing rates of depression[ii].
The second type of exercise is strength or resistance training which assists in building muscle and improving body composition. Strong muscles help to prevent injuries and aid in the completion of general daily activities. Furthermore, strength training stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, improves balance and posture, while also assisting in weight control[iii]. As we age, we lose muscle. Strength training can help slow the ageing process by keeping muscles strong.
This brings us to the next two types of exercise that are commonly overlooked; mobility and balance exercises. Stretching helps to maintain and improve flexibility and mobility. Shorten muscles do not function properly and when they are not functioning properly, this increases the risk of muscle cramping and pain, muscle damage, injury, and general aches and pains.
In addition, balance exercises improve one’s ability to control and stabilize their body’s position. As we age, our vision, inner ear, and muscles and joints tend to deteriorate. Balancing exercises are vital for improving balance and can help to prevent and reverse these loses.
One study conducted by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine sought to determine which forms of exercise would preserve muscle during weight loss programs. This study showed that people who participated in the exercise groups lost 9% of their weight when compared to the control group. While this is not a revolutionary discovery, the key takeaway from this study was that “performance scores—a measure of the ability to do daily activities—increased more among the people who did a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise than among those who did only one type”[iv]. The individuals in the group that had a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises, showed a greater increase in strength and retained more muscle mass, compared with those in the aerobic group.
Ideally, you should include all four types of exercise in your workouts and this where EP health can assist by creating a well-rounded excise program, tailored to your employee’s specific needs and health and wellness goals.
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The 4 most important types of exercise. (2017). Harvard Health Letter, 42(4), 4–5.
“Two Types of Exercise May Be Needed to Preserve Muscle Mass during Weight Loss.” 2017. Harvard Women’s Health Watch24 (12): 8