It’s recommended that the average adult gets one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week, or seventy five minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. Of course, not everyone manages to reach these targets.
There are countless reasons behind this. People may feel that they can’t fit much exercise into already busy schedules. People may find that they’d rather spend their time doing other things.
Others simply feel that they don’t enjoy exercise. But seeing as exercise is essential to your overall health and wellbeing, it’s important that you engage with it.
The real issue is that many people simply haven’t found a form of exercise that they actually enjoy yet. Remember that there are countless options available to you and you are free to try whichever you are interested in until you find something you genuinely want to attend each week. Here are a few suggestions that might help you on this journey!
The gym tends to be most people’s go to when it comes to exercising. This isn’t all too surprising. The gym offers an environment that provides you with all the equipment you need to exercise any part of your body you want to focus on.
Whether you’re interested in building stamina, building strength, running faster, lifting heavier weights, toning up, losing weight or anything else, there will be equipment that will help you to achieve this.
Many gyms also offer classes, if you prefer a more social or guided element to your exercise regime. On top of this, gyms are generally indoor environments, providing you with a large space to work out without having to worry about the rain, sun, wind, cold weather or any other elements.
The gym also feels safe. There are generally staff around and security, as well as cameras, to ensure that you are protected while exercising. There tend to be plenty of gyms around, so make sure to shop around before signing up to any one in particular. This will help you to secure the best deal possible.
Personal training is a good option for anyone who finds difficulty in knowing what exercise to do or who actually fails to head to the gym regularly. When you hire a personal trainer, you spend money on sessions and by missing them, you will be wasting your own cash.
You also know someone is at the gym – or any other location you may have chosen – waiting for you. This can all encourage you to actually attend. There are great benefits that come with hiring a personal trainer.
When you take a personal trainer on board, you are gaining a host of knowledge, as they are specialists in fitness and (sometimes) nutrition. They’ll be able to listen to your goals and determine what exercise routine will get you to them. They can also show you how to use the necessary equipment for your workout plan too!
Swimming is a great option when it comes to benefiting your overall health. Not only is knowing how to swim a vital life skill that could prove life saving at some point or another, but it is also a great and generally enjoyable way to keep in shape.
When you swim, you need to move your whole body against the resistance of the water, meaning that this is a gentle, yet effective form of exercise that is easy on the joints, making it ideal for those with joint pain or the elderly.
The water also supports some of your weight, making it a good option for those who may be overweight or obese and struggle with other forms of exercise. Of course, if you don’t know how to swim, you’re unsure of you’re swimming abilities or are simply lacking confidence, it’s recommended that you take swimming lessons before throwing yourself in the deep end.
Some health benefits of swimming include:
- Swimming can keep your heart rate up
- Swimming is a low impact exercise that takes some stress off the body
- Swimming builds stamina, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
- Swimming helps you maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs
- Swimming tones muscles and builds your strength
- Swimming provides an all-over body workout, using nearly all of your muscles
- Swimming can improve your flexibility
- Swimming can improve coordination
- Swimming can improve balance and posture
On top of this, many people find that swimming is a calming exercise that gives them time to contemplate, relax and wind down. It’s also pleasant during warmer months of the year, allowing you to cool down. Alternatively, if you have access to a heated pool, swimming can be more pleasant than exercising outdoors during the winter months.
Some general tips before getting started tend to include:
- Make sure you know how to swim, if not, take supervised lessons
- Warm up and stretch your muscles and joints before getting in the water
- Choose a safe environment to swim in, indoor pools or spaces with lifeguards are preferable
Chances are, you haven’t heard of pickleball before. This sport was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created the game for their children, who were bored with their usual summertime activities. Since then, pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is now growing internationally, with many European and Asian countries adding courts. Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. It can be played indoor or outdoors on a pickleball court and you don’t need much to get started. Just a pickleball bat, a ball and some pickleball shoe options to choose from. Pickleball can give you a great work, building not only your cardiovascular health and stamina, but releasing plenty of feel good endorphins too. Why not seek out local clubs in your area and give it a go?
Want to try something alternative that will build your upper body strength and flexibility at the same time as being fun? Pole fitness could be a great option for you! This form of exercise has spiked in popularity, with classes popping up all over the place. Many studios now offer pole fitness on a week by week basis, or as parts of courses, such as beginners courses. Sure, it may feel like hard work to begin with. But all in all, you will see your strength build pretty quickly and you’ll have all sorts of tricks under your belt before you know it! Just make sure to wear shorts and invest in some good pole grip (or climbing grip) to help yourself grip the pole better.
Yoga has been popular for centuries in many countries and over the past few decades, its popularity in the Western world has grown too. Now, many gyms offer yoga classes and most areas will have at least one yoga studio. Yoga comes hand in hand with countless health benefits, including building strength, flexibility and stability. However, yoga can be paired with breathing exercises or meditation exercises to benefit your mental wellbeing too! There are many forms of yoga out there, ranging from yoga flows to hot yoga, so take a look at all of the different types and choose a class that will suit your needs well. Some key benefits include:
- Yoga helps with back pain relief
- Yoga can ease arthritis symptoms
- Yoga benefits heart health
- Yoga relaxes you, to help you sleep better
- Yoga can mean more energy and brighter moods
- Yoga helps you manage stress
Running and Jogging
If you like to spend time outdoors, running or jogging could be a good option for you. Running gives you the opportunity to exercise in the fresh air in your local area, or you could even head to local beauty spots to take in nature and stunning scenery while you exercise. Another benefit of running is that it is low cost. All you need is a good pair of running trainers and you’ll be good to go. If you’re going to run at night, it’s recommended that you get some reflective gear and that you’re especially wary of roads. There are also plenty of running apps out there that can track your progress, monitoring things like how far you run, your speed, your heart rate and more. This gives you a good opportunity to set new targets and goals and constantly improve. Just make sure to avoid pushing yourself too far and bear in mind that wherever you run to, you do need to get back from, so make sure to save some energy for your return.
- Running is a weight bearing exercise, so can help to build strong bones
- Running strengthens your muscles
- Running improves your cardiovascular fitness
- Running can burn calories
- Running can help you to maintain a healthy weight
Got a bicycle or willing to invest in a bicycle? Cycling is a truly impressive form of exercise that will help maintain your overall health and wellbeing. On top of this, many believe that cycling can greatly improve your mental health and wellbeing. This form of exercise can boost your mood through a basic release of adrenaline and endorphins. This can also improve your confidence as you go on to achieving new goals and targets. Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new locations. If you find a good route, you can take in all sorts of new views and even find new favourite spots. Just make sure to be extremely safe. You need to make sure you have a good quality helmet, as well as reflective gear and recommended lights on your bike – especially if you’re going to be cycling on roads or in the night.
- Increase your cardiovascular fitness.
- Increase your muscle strength and flexibility
- Improve your joint mobility
- Decrease your stress levels
- Improve your posture and coordination
- Strengthen your bones
- Reduce your body fat levels
- Prevent or help to manage certain diseases
When we talk about picking up ballet, we tend to think of children. This is because to become a professional ballet dancer, you do have to start at a relatively young age. But in terms of using ballet as a form of fun exercise that teaches you interesting new skill sets, you can pick the practice up at any time. Increased demand for this form of exercise has seen many adult ballet classes open up around the world. Chances are, if you search for classes in your local area, there will be some available to attend. Of course, you’re going to take some time to get to grips with the basics and the terminology, and you may feel a little clumsy at first, but eventually you will be able to complete plies and maybe even some pirouettes without a problem! To start, you will probably only need some ballet shoes, which you can generally buy online. But check with your particular class to determine if you need anything else for your practice. Some health benefits of ballet include building strength in your legs and feet, improving your posture, perfecting your balance and increasing your flexibility. On top of this, you can learn rhythm, musicality and more.
We’re all familiar with some of the tennis greats. Serena Williams, Andy Murray… the list goes on. But have you ever tried tennis yourself before? Tennis is a great and fun form of exercise that only requires a racket, a net and a tennis ball. If possible, try to find a nearby tennis court, as this will allow you to practice properly at the same time as getting your exercise in. When you play tennis, you’ll improve your hand eye coordination, at the same time as running around and generally building strength from swinging the racket and bearing the weight of the ball while doing so. Regularly playing tennis can:
- Increase your aerobic capacities
- Lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure
- Improve your metabolic function
- Increase your bone density
- Lower your body fat
- Increase your muscle tone, strength and flexibility
- Improve your reaction times
Team sports can be particularly good at getting you back time and time again. After all, you won’t want to let your team down! Got good aim? Basketball could be for you. Here, you will race around the court, improving your hand eye coordination and your general aim. Find a local training centre or team and you’ll be hooked before you know it!
As you can see, there are countless different forms of exercise that you can try. The options outlined above are just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. There are plenty of alternative options out there if you find that they don’t suit you! The key to success when it comes to getting regular exercise really is to find something you enjoy, as this will spur you on to attend classes or complete the exercise regularly. If you don’t like something, try something else. Continue until you find what works for you. Hopefully, some of this advice can get your journey towards fitness and wellbeing started off in the right direction. Stick with it and you’ll begin to feel the benefits before you know it!