We are all aware that exercise is good for your health, but how? This article will break down the different forms of exercise and explain how each type is beneficial to your health.
Strength training involves using muscles to resist or overcome a force or load. This includes exercises that use free weights, resistance bands, weight machines, bodyweight, etc. This builds strength, endurance and size of the skeletal muscles. Strong muscles let a person go through the day without becoming excessively tired or stressed, and reduce the risk of lower-back pain and other injuries. Other benefits of strength training include:
- Reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes
- Manage blood sugar levels
- Prevent or manage arthritis
- Manage weight
- Keeping bones strong and healthy
- Reduced chances of falling by improving your strength, balance and coordination
- Improved sleep
- Helps you stay strong and active
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends performing strength-training exercises two to three times per week with a day of rest between working the same muscle groups.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, aerobic exercise is an activity that uses large muscle groups continuously and rhythmically. This includes activities such as walking, running, bicycling, dancing, and swimming. Regular aerobic exercise is beneficial for cardiovascular health and disease prevention. It strengthens the heart by decreasing resting heart rate and blood pressure and increasing stamina. Aerobic activity activates the immune system leaving a person less susceptible to viral illnesses. Aerobic exercise also improves body composition, which reduces risk for developing metabolic disease such as diabetes. This kind of exercise also increases bone mineral density, which is especially important for women who are likely to develop osteoporosis. Benefits of aerobic activity include:
- Helps manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- May reduce risk of certain cancers, including colon cancer
- Helps manage weight
- Helps manage stress and boost your spirits
- Helps you stay strong and active
Aerobic exercise keeps a person active and independent as they age. It helps a person maintain mobility and keeps the mind sharp.
Stretching and Flexibility:
Stretching is an exercise where a person extends a muscle in order to improve its elasticity. Stretching and flexibility prevents everyday injuries by allowing your body to increase its range of motion. This includes muscle and disc strains from turning over or getting out of bed, shoulder injuries as a result of lifting or reaching, back aches from the transition of standing to sitting, bending down to pick something up, or even walking up and down the stairs. Flexibility:
- Reduces the feeling of “stiffness” in your body
- Improves circulation, posture, balance and coordination
- Provides stress relief
- Can reduce your risk of injury
- Supports your ability to stay active
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to remember not to bounce when you are stretching. Bouncing can cause small tears in the muscles, which leave scar tissue. This tightens the muscle causing you to become less flexible and more prone to pain.
This list by no means consists of all the benefits of exercise. However, it shows how beneficial exercise is to a person’s health. It is important to know that if you don’t exercise regularly (at lease two to three days per week) you risk losing the benefits that these exercises offer.
This article is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject matter covered. It is distributed with the understanding that FBMC is not rendering professional or medical advice and assumes no liability in connection with its use.