What kind of exercises should I do?
We all know that exercise is important in our daily lives, but we may not know which type of exercise will help in areas that we want to build.
Exercise can be classified into 2 broad categories; Aerobic and Anaerobic.
Types of aerobic activities:
Moderate intensity: Brisk walking, leisure swimming, leisure cycling
High intensity: Running, swimming continuous laps, spinning
Aerobic exercises are essential for building your physical conditioning as they work your heart and lungs, allowing you to build a greater work capacity. It’s important to incorporate both exercises of both moderate and vigorous intensities into your routine to build a stronger aerobic base – aim for a total of 150 minutes of moderate activity and 60 minutes of vigorous activity every week. To make it easier, you can break your aerobic exercises down into manageable 10-minute blocks.
Anaerobic/strength training activities
Types of activities: Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, exercises involving resistance bands, weight-training
Strength training is important because it strengthens your muscles and bones for better health and resistance against injuries. Strength training also helps with weight-loss – as you gain muscle, your metabolism increases which allows you to better convert calories into energy.
Non-exercise physical activities
Types of activities: Casual walking, stair-climbing, frisbee
Non-exercise physical activities (NEPA)are not meant to be physically taxing, but they are considered a legitimate form of physical activity that does well in supporting an active lifestyle. Engaging in NEPA during your rest days prevents you from lapsing into a sedentary state and adds (slightly) to your overall caloric expenditure.
Apart from deciding what exercises to include in your workouts, it’s also necessary to ensure you have safety protocols in place. Catering for safe workouts start with the following steps.
Keeping your workout safe
- Proper warm-ups and cool-downs
These should last for at least five to ten minutes. Stretches and slow jogs are common warm-up and cool-down exercises.
- Pay attention to signs of injury
When it comes to cardiovascular work or strength training, it’s important to stop at any signs of distress to prevent injury. Avoid intense exercises when you already have injuries such as stress fractures or sprains.
- Watch your form during strength training
Most injuries obtained during strength training are a result of poor form, so always pay attention to your form and never try to rush through your workouts.
- Stay hydrated
Heat injuries are some of the most common exercise-related injuries so always stay hydrated. Go for electrolyte-replenishing drinks after long aerobic sessions.
- Dress appropriately
Wearing the right shoes is of utmost importance to preventing injuries. The right clothing will also help you train comfortably and enjoy your workout more.
- Rest days
The most important safety tip is to always have rest days after intense exercise sessions. Giving your body enough time to repair itself helps to prevent overuse injuries and mental burnout.
Apart from exercise, there are other ways to squeeze in more physical activity into your daily life that don’t require as much time and planning. Here are some of the easiest ways.
Life hacks to sneak in more physical activity
- Take the stairs
Forget escalators and lifts, take the stairs whenever you can because stairs give your muscles a good opportunity for some resistance training. Just one minute of climbing stairs a day can be beneficial for your muscles and help to build up strength.
Walking is one of the best ways to exercise because you can do it anytime and anywhere, without the need to change into sports attire or do some warm-up exercises. While you don’t burn as many calories from walking as you do from running, you are also less likely to binge eat after a good walking session.
- Stand up
The simple act of standing up does wonders for your body. Standing improves blood circulation, burns more calories, increases your metabolism and improves posture. You don’t have to go out of your way to stand up – opt to stand on public transport or take breaks from work to stand or walk around.
- Carry bags
Carrying your grocery bags by hand allows your arms to get some strength training in. The best way to get some benefits out of grocery bag lifting is to extend your arms all the way down and keep your back straight and shoulders back. This also engages your core and helps you work on your posture.
- Squat daily
A daily 30-second squat is something that's easily doable for everyone and helps to train what is considered the most fundamental aspect of human movement. Squatting helps to train your ankles, legs and hips and also improves stability throughout your entire body.