Choose From These 4 Great Exercises to Match Your Fitness Level
When it comes to types of daily physical activity, the list is endless. There are numerous forms of exercise that improve or maintain overall health and wellness. Certain exercises are performed specifically to strengthen muscles and the cardiovascular system, others sharpen athletic skills or create weight loss, and some exercise is for the purpose of pure enjoyment.
There really is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercising. That is because everyone has different fitness levels. I found four great exercises that come highly recommended from the leading fitness experts at the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada:
- The burpee. That’s when you drop to a squat with your hands on the ground, kick your legs back so you’re in pushup position and then jump back into a squat, stand up and jump as high as you can. It builds muscles and endurance. Don’t expect to be able to do a lot when you first start… they’re not as easy as they sound!
- Squats. They activate your body’s biggest muscles, the ones in your thighs and rear-end. They also counteract the loss of muscle mass that comes with aging. Studies show that weight-training exercises like squats even lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease!
- H-I-T. That stands for High-intensity Interval Training. That’s when you hop on a stationary bike and ride like crazy for 30 seconds. Then hop off and rest for four minutes, then repeat for a full half hour. In one study, riders who did that once a day for two weeks — for a total of seven hours — increased their aerobic capacity more than people who pedaled slowly for over 10 hours.
- Walking. Woo hooo! A recent study found that walking for an hour a day increases physical fitness and thigh strength by 20 percent. It also decreases hypertension, obesity and depression dramatically. A regular regime of brisk walking has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory. That means walkers have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia!
Of course, the exercise that fits me is walking — I do it every day because I enjoy it and walking literally changed my life, ending my 25 year-long battle with obesity.
I’d like to know which exercise fits you. Is there an exercise that changed your life? Please share in the comment area below.
Photo credit: The U.S. Army