For some people, the word “exercise” evokes the same reaction as sucking on a sour lemon. Their faces crinkle up with a look of pure distaste and disgust. For those who have embraced exercise as part of their lifestyle, they simply can’t comprehend that type of response. Sure, it takes some effort, but the effects of exercise feel so good and do such wonderful things for the body, especially for keeping weight under control. So, how can the exercisers persuade the non-exercisers to open up to the idea of regular physical activity? The basics might be the best place to start.
First, exercise resistors should understand that there are two basic kinds of exercise- cardiovascular and strength training. Both types burn calories of course and help improve metabolic functions, but they target different body systems. Cardio training benefits the cardiorespiratory system by strengthening the heart and lungs while strength training builds the musculoskeletal system, which includes muscle, joints, and bones.. The other benefit of strength training is that burns it calories both during your workout session as well as while your body is at rest. Yes, you heard that right. You will be able to increase your cardio burn even in your sleep!
Now, what are some of the best types of cardio and strength training exercises to start out with if you fall on the non-exerciser part of the spectrum? We list some ideas for you below, but we must stress the importance of consulting your medical provider before performing any form of exercise. Safety first!
Cardio Basic Start
Walking. This form of cardio exercise is perfect for everyone trying to lose weight. Walking can be done anywhere, and doesn’t require any expensive gadgets or equipment. Simply put on a comfortable pair of walking shoes and walk your way to better health. Start out walking as far as you feel comfortable and gradually increase the duration of time. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of walking at least five days per week.
Strength Training Basic Start
Resistance Training. There are several forms of resistance training, such as body weight, band or tube, free weights, or machines. Body weight exercises have increased in popularity recently. The squat is one of the most basic body weight exercises we do every day without realizing it. Every time you sit down and get up from a chair that’s a squat! Practice the “sittercise” of sitting down in a chair and standing up to burn calories and strengthen muscles.
Make sure to receive proper instruction before performing any form of resistance training. The American Heart Association recommends resistance training at least twice a week.
Cardio-Strength Combo Start
Swimming and Aquatic Workouts. These forms of exercise are low impact and great for people dealing with joint pain and mobility limitations. Swimming is a calorie-burning powerhouse. An hour of swimming can burn over 500 calories. Aquatic workouts also use water resistance to help you build muscle. Take splashing water for example. As you move the water away from your body with your palms, you are essentially doing low impact standing pushups. Enjoy the benefits of cardio and strength training every time you get in the water! Check with your local pool for information about swimming lessons and aquatic workout classes.
You can do any of these basic activities alone, or find a group exercise class for support and motivation. When you find people with similar goals, the camaraderie can go a very long way in helping you adopt healthy behaviors and stick with them.
The most successful exercise programs are the ones you enjoy and continue to do. Do what makes you happy and over time you will lose weight as you continue to build better weight management habits. Exercise, along with a healthy diet, will be one of your keys to long-term weight loss success. In other words, it can help you turn lemons into lemonade.