Basics and Benefits of Exercise

Exercise has many benefits when performed properly. Some of the benefits include lowering blood pressure, maintenance of blood sugar levels, decreased body fat, and reduction of chronic disease. Other benefits of exercise include improved sleep, arthritis relief, decreased amount of depression, and improved strength, stability, and flexibility. Exercise is an important part of life and its benefits are not taken seriously enough.

With so many benefits and fitness centers popping up everywhere, why isn't everyone reaping the benefits of exercise? The most common reasons are lack of knowledge and motivation. Some people are lazy and don't want to follow a routine, while others follow a routine and end up with minimal gains. Improper execution of exercises will cause injury and may hamper results. Getting the advice of a qualified professional is a great way to ensure proper technique and maximum benefit. If you're searching for a fitness coach, a quality trainer will focus on flexibility, stability, and core strength while working toward a specific goal.

Flexibility is a very important part of any training program but it is often overlooked. Lack of flexibility can be the root to many problems. When a muscle or ligament is tight, it limits its ability to contract properly, causing inefficient movements and joint stress. Muscles that are tight are more likely to become injured, hampering your fitness goals and results. Flexibility plus strength equal stability and are the foundation of exercise. Without them, the body's movement becomes limited and good results are difficult to achieve.

Stability exercises should be a part of every exercise program. Exercising with free weights or resistance bands and challenging the surrounding environment promotes balance and stability, which is essential. Training primarily with machines without integrating free weights into a program is inefficient because you are moving resistance along a fixed axis and not free in space (as we do in life). Stability is critical for everyone. Stability training starts with an efficient core routine. A weak core contributes to poor stability and inhibits proper limb movements.

Maintaining a strong core is vital for protecting yourself from injury. Many back and hip injuries stem from a  weak core. Training the core (your midsection) goes way beyond sit-ups and back extensions. An effective and efficient core routine involves dynamic movements (varying intensity and activity), challenge of the center of gravity, and isometric exercises (muscular contraction against resistance). Using a physio ball (large rehab ball) is much more effective than training on the floor. Working on a ball forces you to use your core muscles that deal with balance. In addition to using a ball rather than the floor for core exercises, it is important to work in all planes of motion (not just front and back). Working with a personal trainer or a knowledgeable exercise partner is a great way to expand your horizons and ideas of different exercises.

If the goal is gaining lean muscles and losing body fat, circuit training is the best choice. Circuit training is geared toward increasing your heart rate while using some type of resistance or environmental challenge. When circuit training, it is crucial to keep moving and maintain your target heart rate zone. Performing full body functional workouts every session is a sure way to bur maximum calories. This type of training does not isolate muscles, rather it targets getting as many body parts involved as possible. For the general population, the benefits of this type of training surpass the traditional style of single body part sessions.

Exercise promotes a healthy body and prevent against injury. As we age, maintaining muscle mass is very important. A healthy and vital longevity should be everyone's goal! Exercise is the key. Set specific goals for yourself and keep track of your progress in a fitness diary. If you want that extra motivation or challenge, find a great personal trainer who matches your goals. It is a sure way to get the results you're hoping for and avoid injury now and down the road.

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