Benefits of Exercise – Reaping the Rewards

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benefits of exercise

Benefits of Exercise

Reaping the Rewards

by Paul Bedford

A look at the different benefits gained from the major types of exercise – so you can choose which routine suits you best!

RAISE THE PULSE
Cardiovascular training will involve raising the heart rate in some way. Walking, running and cycling are three great types of cardio workouts and can be done both in and out of the gym – so no excuses. This type of training will burn calories and, if done correctly, will improve physical fitness. If you’re looking to lose the fat then a long, but not so intense, exercise session is the way to go, such as a brisk walk in the hills. But if you’re looking to get fit, then a shorter but more intense session is the way to go – so get some hard running done!

PUMPING IRON
Resistance, or weight training, is the best way to increase muscle mass, strength and power. Women sometimes fear they will turn into some sort of muscle machine with weight training, but this is far from the truth. If you’re looking to gain muscle mass, a low repetition (6-8 or 8-10 reps) with a heavy weight is the most affective way to do this. But if you’re looking for a slimmer, more toned look then a high repetition (15-20 reps) will help you rip up. Increasing muscle mass has other great benefits, such as a change in body shape, an increase in your metabolism which will allow you to burn fat more efficiently at rest and an increase in overall strength.

benefits of exercise health and fitnessBenefits of Exercise: “Training as part of a sport or hobby you love is the most enjoyable way to get fit”

GET WET
Yes, swimming is a great type of exercise and is beneficial to all ages and to different types of fitness levels. Whether it’s the crawl, the breaststoke, the backstroke or even the butterfly (not in my case!), these are all disciplines that will improve your overall fitness. These techniques involve using nearly every muscle in the body, especially in the key core areas, so get the swim cap and goggles on and go for a refreshing dip. No excuses, as most council-run pools are now offering kid swims for free!

CIRCUIT TRAINING
This is a great way for both novice and advanced trainers to exercise because you can train at your own pace. A perfect combination of cardiovascular and resistance work allows you to smash up those fitness levels and rip up those muscles. One minute interval stations are a popular way to go around a circuit but there are lots and lots of ideas out there to make the circuits as varied and stimulating as possible.

SPORTS SPECIFIC
Football? Squash? Cricket? Tennis? Quite simply, training as part of a sport or hobby you love is the most enjoyable way to get fit. Individual sports come equipped with a plethora of modern training methods, all geared towards improving speed, power, agility or endurance. Why not swot-up on the latest training developments to get the most from your exercise – and improve your game in the process!

Benefits of Exercise: Health and Fitness FAQs

Is there as quick way to attain fitness? Due to a football injury I’ve been on the sidelines for a few months and I’d like to get back up to speed as quickly as possible.
A.Jones, Sheffield
As a fellow footballer I understand exactly what fitness levels you need for the beautiful game. Interval training would be a great place to start – this involves a combination of steady jogging and bursts of sprinting – it’s a particularly good method of football training as it is specific to the sport.

I have a 13 year old son who has expressed an interest in weightlifting – is it safe for him to do so?
Mrs. P. Cook, Harrogate
I wouldn’t recommend it. Your son’s muscles and bones are not fully developed at this age and there’s evidence that lifting heavy weights at a young age can speed up growth plate closure. If he insists, he should use relatively light weights and limit the workouts to two half hour sessions per week max – but personally, I‘d advise him to wait a few years.

I train regularly – 2 hours a day for 6 days a week – but often feel fatigued. My girlfriend says I’m overdoing it – is she right?
Simon W, Ilkley
It certainly sounds like it! If your training sessions involve hard and intense exercise then, I would say, definitely. Make sure you rest at least 2 or even 3 times a week – your body is not getting time to recover and you might not be eating enough too. I always advise to train, then rest. Try reducing your training schedule to four times per week. I think you’ll feel the benefits.

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