Fitness goals should be treated like all other goals you would approach at work or with your schooling— you track and manage and constantly evaluate the progression to reach an ultimate desired outcome. After all, getting fit is a job all on its own and is a vast field of knowledge that one must understand in order to navigate. For this reason, it best serves you to work backwards from your goal to form a fitness plan. Just as there is a difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercise and the impact on the body, looking a layer down you can select types of physical actives that will support your goals.
Effective Forms of Exercise For Weight Loss
There are many aerobic exercises that are good to shed some extra pounds like swimming, cycling, and power walking. People choose among them according to their physical limitation needs, easiness, or general preference. But the single most effective exercise for overall weight loss is running. Here are a few reasons why:
- It burns more calories than cycling, swimming, downhill skiing and weightlifting. 30 minutes of running burns about 500 calories at an average. It depends on speed and you can burn even more calories if you develop a good pace. There are many apps and gadgets available that can provide you stats to track your progress, unlike any other exercise.
- It is the easiest exercise to adopt in terms of logistics. For many running is as easy as stepping out of their home and taking the sidewalk path that is most immediate. No need to jump in transportation to head to a gym and wait for weights. You can adjust to your local weather by running early in the morning or in the evening to beat the heat or layer up to tread during the winter. Ease of practice leads to a regular routine and thus notable results are achieved.
- No fancy equipment is required. Running is the most cost-effective exercise. You don’t need a gym membership; no expensive at-home equipment or weights. A pair of good running shoes and your willingness to lose weight is all that is required.
- There is no time restriction. Whether you are a working professional, student, or busy parent managing the home, you can do it whenever you can find time for it. Consistency is important but getting it done is what counts so adjust according to your schedule day-by-day if it takes.
- Low impact by environmental factors. No weather restriction should hinder your running exercise routine, unless the path is icy, the air quality conditions are poor, or thunderstorms are present. Small tweaks such as wearing climate control garments, water-proofing your shoes with water-resistant spray, and bringing along chap stick and moisturizers for the face and hands can really change the experience of running in inclement weather.
- A versatile vehicle for entertainment. Running can be a fun exercise with friends, a significant other, the dog, the whole family or just your favorite playlist. It’s also a great way to capitalize on the time by multitasking. Divert your attention to a podcast or audiobook since running does not require constant decision making; you can even learn while your body is running!
Effective Exercise for Gaining Muscle
The first and foremost rule to gain muscle is finding the right intensity of the exercise. It’s not the duration but the intensity that matters the most. Squats, dips, reps, deadlifts, bench press, rows, and head press are some of the commonly practiced exercises at gyms for the purpose of muscle gain. But the most effective for gaining muscle is Weightlifting.
Putting strain on muscle fibers is the basis of stimulating body to make new proteins and create more muscles. There is complex science behind this practice of intense training. When we go for weightlifting, it sends brain signals to elongate the existing muscle fibers hypertrophy and increase their number (hyperplasia). Our brain secretes more growth hormones and new proteins are made. These proteins build up to provide bulky muscles along the body.
You may have short durations of workouts but it’s important to not compromise on the intensity. You can design AMRAP routines (As Many Reps As Possible) where, just as it sounds, you perform an exercise as many times as you can. The goal is to fatigue the muscles to exhaustion, so you get an intense work out in a very short period of time.
Weightlifting takes focus to not only complete the move correctly, but also keeping your posture and breathe in sync for safety. For this reason, it is suggested to work with a trainer before venturing into weight training to learn the proper steps to prevent injury.
High Fitness Levels Affects The Mind
A famous Greek proverb says; a strong mind dwells in a sound body, and rightly so. There are several ways exercise affects the mind and improves brain health. There are a number of scientific research studies on the body that high fitness levels exert the same benefits to the brain as to the body.
- Exercise (irrespective of type) increases the heart rate; hence blood circulation to the brain is also increased and this oxygen helps the brain in production of more neurons culminating in better memory and cognition. It also stimulates the formation of new connections among neurons increasing brain plasticity.
- Good fitness level and an active lifestyle safeguard the brain by reducing inflammation, depression, anxiety and enhancing sleep and confidence. All the negative factors get suppressed and mental growth is maintained and protected. In research on brain health, BUSM (Boston school of Medicine) scientists found that older adults with high fitness levels showed better memory and better learning skills in contrast to adults with a sedentary lifestyle. In addition to giving better emotion, it also maintains the brain shape and abilities.
- According to Lancet’s research, having a high fitness level decreases the chances of dementia and memory loss issues. Exercise is the primary lifestyle modification that is required for the prevention of dementia and memory disorders.
If one or more of these align with your fitness and health goals, you may even be able to combine or stagger them for desired sequence such as strength training proceeding weight loss. Consulting with your doctor is an important step to take when forming your fitness routines, but it may be wise to include them early when planning your goals to see the most success.