Everyone knows that regular exercise is important to your overall health. But many of us pick one or two favorite types of exercises and stick with those same types. While this is still beneficial to your health, a more balanced workout regimen is going to be more beneficial to your overall health and wellness.
This is what most people consider cardio workouts. A good gauge of your aerobic capability is how you feel after briskly walking up a set of stairs. If you’re winded even a little bit, it’s probably fair to say that you need more cardio exercise in your life. The main benefits of this type of exercise include lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels, lower LDL levels and raise HDL levels of cholesterol, minimize inflammation, burn fat, and improve your mood. Long-term benefits also include reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer, stroke, and more.
Your goal for aerobic exercise should be about 30 minutes per day for 5 days out of the week where you get your heart rate elevated and maintain it. Speed walking, slow jogging, cycling, and swimming are all great ways to get your aerobic exercise in.
A lot of people either completely ignore strength training or they focus solely on it. There needs to be a balance, as strength training is incredibly important and beneficial, but it shouldn’t be your only type of exercise. Muscle mass decreases as you get older, and that can lead to more injuries and less mobility and independence. Strength training helps rebuild those muscles so they are stronger, but it also increases lean muscle mass which helps burn more fat, stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, improves balance, improves posture, and helps reduce pain in the back and joints.
Body weight workouts are the best strength training exercises to start with when you first integrate them into your exercise regimen. Squats, lunges, and push-ups are great options, as are resistance workouts.
Balance tends to become more of an issue as we age, so working on balance-related exercises is incredibly important no matter your age. Having steady balance will make you more mobile into your older years, and it can help prevent falls and injuries. Balance issues can be related to more than just muscle stability and can also be affected by vision, joints, and inner ear problems. Thankfully, improving your balance can be done with specific exercises.
You can take some classes to improve your balance, such as yoga, pilates, or tai chi. You could also do some balance exercises at home, such as standing knee lifts, heel to toe walking, leg lifts, walking on uneven surfaces and more.
Finally, stretching and flexibility are important parts of a healthy and effective exercise regimen, but they are often overlooked and neglected. A lack of flexibility isn’t likely to affect us until we’re much older, but it can bring about muscle cramps, more easily damaged muscles, joint pain, strains, and overall muscle pain. Flexibility will give you more muscle mobility for longer in life, making it easier to live more comfortably and independently, even as you age.
You should include stretching in your workout routine at least 3 days per week, if not daily. Start with dynamic stretches that get the blood flowing to your muscles and gets them warmed up, then you can move on to more static stretches that include holding a position for 60 seconds.
A healthy and well-rounded exercise routine is a great way to improve your overall health and quality of life. This paired with chiropractic care with a neurologically-based principled chiropractor in Charlotte, NC is a recipe for a great and healthy life. Contact Dr. Grant Lisetor and his team at Greater Life Chiropractic to learn more about whole body health and how to live your best life with optimal function.
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Russell, E.G., “Process versus outcome: challenges of the chiropractic wellness paradigm.” Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 2009 Dec; 16(1): 50–53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3342808/