If I had to say which question I am most often asked about fitness, it would have to be “Which exercise is best?” My answer is always the same…”MIX IT ALL UP.” As long as you get ample cardiovascular training, ample strength training and ample flexibility and balance training, and you are enjoying it, then you have found the best exercise for you.
When I design my group exercise classes, I try really hard to combine those important 3 aspects into one hour, so people can get in and out of the gym with a complete workout. This is not always possible in specialty classes like Pilates or yoga, which often requires supplementing with some cardio. Think of you week of exercise like you do your eating and always make sure you are getting enough of each of the healthy ingredients! The perfect balance would be something like 30-45 minutes of cardio, most days of the week, 2-3 days of strength training (which shouldn’t take long) focusing most importantly on the big muscles of the legs, back, chest and shoulders and some stretching, preferably after each workout. Personally, I like to do one or two sessions a week of Pilates and/or yoga to compliment and balance the higher intensity workouts.
I believe that we set ourselves up for injury and burnout when we get hooked into one form of exercise and think it’s better than all the others. How often I see marathon runners who look hunched and aged because as fit as their hearts and lungs are, as great as their endurance is, they lack any musculature to support their spine and bones! Pilates addicts look long and lean and have fantastic cores, but must supplement with cardiovascular exercise to increase cardiovascular endurance. Hard core bodybuilders often shy away from any cardio as they feel it will eat up some of their muscle mass. They might look great on the outside, but I am sure they don’t look as great on the inside!
To someone just starting out on their fitness journey, this “recipe” for fitness might seem overwhelming. In reality, all you need to do is keep mixing things up! A brisk 30 minute walk, followed by some push-ups and pull-ups and a few minutes of mindful stretching could be accomplished in well under an hour. A weight lifting session, done in circuits where you do a set of something and then move on to something else and keep moving till all your sets are complete, followed by stretching would be a very well rounded workout.
Balance work can be incorporated into any routine without adding additional time. Do some bicep curls with one foot lifted, add tree pose to your stretching and cool down, or do some lunging keeping your heels off the floor! Be creative, but not TOO creative. From my experience, too much creativity leads to injury!
Which exercise is best? A little of this and a little of that, which is exactly what I am off to do! I hope that you will find some time today, to do the same and whatever it is, make sure it’s fun for you. There are way too many choices for it to NOT be fun!
Bonni – An FYI for your Webmaster. I tried to read your blog as late as 8:45 this morning (I refreshed the page several times) but it wasn’t there yet 🙁 I wanted a heads up on the routine this morning (not that I need it, but I like to know where your head is before a workout)
BTW – Class was awesome – as usual – very challenging and unexpected – I like that 🙂
hmmm…I think i might have finished blogging very close to the time I was leaving for the gym so it might not have been posted yet. As a rule, I try to blog very early in the morning, but weekends are generally a little later. I will keep an eye on this, though, in case it was a computer/web flaw! Thanks…I always appreciate your feedback. My husband, by the way, guessed which doc you went to as soon as I started telling him the story. He said “of course it was HIM.”
OK – That makes sense about the timing of the blog. Heck, it took me 15 minutes to write these 2 sentences (I was distracted by cooking breakfast and starting laundry).
I am going to poll EVERYONE I know and ask who their primary is – I’m sure not going back to that a$$. I’m just now feeling like I’m getting past the trauma of it all and since I’m striving for peace and balance I am going to let it go and consider it a lesson learned.
Have a wonderful Sunday – See you Tuesday night.
Buck Dahle says
I thought that was a great article. I think I’ll write a blog post and link to it.
How you doing?. Thought I should let you know, I dig your posts, yr site is a little bit unique means it a cut above. Personally I get bored of reading the same thing nearly all of the time. 😀 Good job.
Benito Henderson says
Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! 🙂
Arlie Bell says
Not bad article, but I really miss that you didn’t express your opinion, but ok you just have different approach
directorio del articulo says
When it comes right down to it, you gain weight when you eat more calories per day than your body burns. To lose weight, you either have to burn more calories than you eat through added exercise. Or you have to eat less calories than your body burns. Combining exercise and diet is actually much easier than just doing one of those two things.