When your doctor recommended that you increase your exercise level, did part of you cringe and imagine long grueling hours spent on a treadmill at the gym? That’s not the only way that we can get the daily steps and calorie burning activities our bodies need to get (and stay) healthy.
Exercise is important for many reasons. Not only does regular (daily) fitness help you to burn the dietary calories you consume, but it also promotes other important benefits, like improved muscle strength, balance and bone density. This can help improve overall mood reduce inflammation, and the aches and pains that go with it. And one of the most important health benefits? You’ll have increased energy.
If you dread the gym, there are many other alternative exercises that you can engage in that fit in with your busy lifestyle. The key is to find one or more activity that you actually enjoy; something that offers all the fitness benefits, without feeling like punishment. Here are some ideas to consider.
How does stretching and meditating in a room with a temperature of 87°F sound? Toasty! The high humidity and temperature of this type of yoga, offer a number of surprising health benefits. This style was derived from traditional Asanas and developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s.
The Yogi created a series of 24 poses and two breathing exercises that are designed to provide “head to toe” fitness and flexibility. It is also good for stress relief and builds muscle tone, and while you are sweating to some relaxing music, toxins (free radicals), excess glucose (sugar) and sodium are released.
If you don’t want to join a class, you can use the smallest room in your house and a portable heater to turn up the temperature. Grab your yoga mat and tune in to one of many free Hot Yoga instructional videos on YouTube.
High-impact exercises like jogging, or even walking on a treadmill can be painful for individuals who have inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, or spine and back issues. Swimming is a fabulous workout because the water provides both natural resistance (so it can be as challenging as you like), and it insulates the body against impact and friction pressure.
What are some of the benefits of swimming weekly?
If you don’t mind shaking up your regular exercise, you can find a gym that offers pool facilities to its members and join. Depending on the membership, you may be entitled to free classes. Alternatively, you can buy access passes to join fun aquafit classes like Water Rumba. It’s social and fun.
Have you ever seen one of those miniature trampolines in a gym, or at someone’s home and were a little puzzled? Jumping on a trampoline inside (or on your patio) can’t possibly provide a fitness benefit. It looks too easy to count as exercise.
The official name for the exercise is ‘rebounding’ and it one of the best and easiest exercises you can do, to improve bone density, muscle strength and endurance. Because our bodies are subject to the laws of gravity (and sedentary lifestyles) this exercise can also help improve circulation. Fitness experts suggest between 15 to 20 minutes a day.
We all love to multitask, and we learn to because of our hectic schedules and busy lifestyle. One idea to consider, is to combine two beneficial activities at once. Not seeing your friends or family members who live nearby? Find a mutually enjoyable activity you can share together and get all the healthy benefits of an active lifestyle by making it a social opportunity as well.