4 exercises to boost your body and mind in 2017

4 exercises to boost your body and mind in 2017

sabrinacycling1If you’re feeling the need to make a change after the Christmas festivities, now’s the time to consider which forms of exercise are right for you.

Which workouts to benefit the whole body would fit best into your daily and weekly routines?

 

Walking

An excellent low-impact exercise which can be built into your every-day activities. Best of all, it’s free!

It has numerous health benefits. It:

  • Exercises the whole body including the heart. A Harvard study found that walking for 3mph for 30 minutes a day can cut the risk of heart disease in women by up to 40%.
  • Helps to reduce the risk of diseases like Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers, NHS advice says.
  • Has a low impact on joints.
  • Burns calories and helps to reduce the percentage of body fat. A study by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that women who walked more than 10,000 steps a day, on average, had 40% less body fat than those who averaged fewer than 6,000 steps a day.
  • Can help people suffering from depression and stress, several academic studies have shown – particularly if walking is done in green areas.

 

Running

A brilliant whole body exercise, running can be free or done indoors in bad weather.

Its health benefits include:

  • Substantial reductions in the risk of heart disease from a relatively small amount of running every day, according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Five or ten minutes a day at relatively slow speeds (such as a 12-minute mile) reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • The release of feel-good endorphins and endocannabinoids in the brain.
  • Strengthens your bones better than low impact exercises.
  • Burns calories fast and helps promote weight loss – you could burn up to 398 calories in a one-hour jog.
  • Works your legs, back, and core, and helps to stabilise your spine.
  • Can help the brain relax in the same way meditation does.

 

Swimming

If you want to exercise your body without putting strain on it, swimming is a wonderful choice.

Its health benefits include:

  • Cardiovascular fitness and endurance. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes – even when swimming for just 30 minutes a week, Sport England says.
  • An all-body workout. 30 minutes in a pool is worth 45 minutes on land because the water makes you work harder, says Sport England.
  • Relaxation and it helps to alleviate stress.
  • A low risk of injury and has a low impact on joints because the water supports 90% of your weight. It’s also great if you have an existing injury.
  • Burns calories effectively and helps reduce or maintain weight – a gentle swim for half an hour can burn 200 calories.

 

Cycling

This wonderful workout can also get you from A to B – and can be built into your daily commute or weekend activities. It gets you fit, saves you money, and helps save the planet.

Its health benefits include:

  • An excellent cardiovascular workout – ride for at least 150 minutes a week to maximise the benefits, NHS Choices says.
  • A lower impact on joints than running, but still offers some benefits when it comes to strengthening bones. It helps to improve joint mobility and general flexibility.
  • Helps reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and stroke.
  • Improves muscle strength, posture, and co-ordination.
  • Can help reduce stress and improve mood.
  • Burns calories very effectively and helps reduce body fat. You could burn around 650 calories an hour.

 

So, which should you choose?

A combination of these exercises would give you most of their benefits, but it’s important to choose exercise which you enjoy and which you can easily fit into your routines – so that you keep doing it!

You could combine one or two of the four key methods of getting exercise with other ways like yoga classes, dancing, aerobics classes, or weight training to keep yourself interested.

 

Need more advice? Call me on 02920 676 623.

 

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