I want to focus on different types of exercise/work outs on my blog. All have their benefits and all can be fun to do for different reasons. All have pluses and minuses. But I figured it’s best to start at the stem before focusing on the branches, as I do with all the topics I wrote about up to now (I have to start somewhere, right?).
In my opinion it’s important to do a variety of exercise types, for all sorts of reasons. It’s the key to a ‘balanced body’ and lowers the chances of injuries. In short, it is best to include all of the following:
1- Endurance/cardio (a strong vascular system and fat-loss)
2- Strengthening (strong muscles, bones and joints)
3- Balance and Flexibility (a stable core and smooth, free movement)
(and -4 Fun –don’t waste your free time on doing stuff you hate to do. If you want to do it anyway, find a way to make it more fun ; ) ).
Of course you can combine all three (4!) in a fitness workout-schedule; I think we all do that already. A trainer should incorporate all of them. But it’s even better (and keeps it more interesting) if you find other ways to focus on the separate parts. For instance, running is more about cardio and fat burning. Yoga has more to do with balance and flexibility. Tennis is more about endurance and strength (and the added fun is the game, of course).
But I really see weight lifting and/or yoga as the stem of all the other exercising activities. She’s the best mum to your body (if you listen well ; ) ).
Actually, I think yoga and weightlifting is the ideal balance to start with. Weightlifting is more about pumped strength and cardio. Yoga is about endurance strength, balance and flexibility. Both need focus and concentration if you want to do it well. And one is more about the inside, the other about the outside: both make such a good balance in body and mind. Ah, more about that another time : ).
Anyway, back to my first point, lol: Doing one of the two -or better: both- has benefits for all the other stuff you can do.
With correct instruction both weightlifting and yoga will make your overall posture better and stronger. Because these types of exercise are slow and more precise, you can focus on doing them correctly and build on the true core of your body. Everything you learn here (psychologically and physically) will help you get the most of all other types of exercise, with a lower risk of injury.
For instance: knowing your knee shouldn’t pass the toes when lunging. Or keeping your back straight (as possible: so hard!) while squatting. ‘Rolling’ your vertebrae when curling up and straightening your back in yoga and with crunches, etc.
Doing this over and over will make your body move and reflex in a good way without you even thinking about it, in the long run (it’s what I mean with ‘learning physically’).
It helps you in all other activities:
-Strong knees and joints when running.
-Lower risks of injuries and a better results doing those fast squats, sit-ups, and squats in fitness (HIIT) classes and boot camps.
-longer endurance and more strength in smashing that tennis-ball in court. These sports involve a lot of sudden movements of all joints and muscles. Its good to have them strong and reflex in the right way.
Again, these are just some examples.. the list of benefits is endless (I didnt even mention the day-to-day benefits; lifting grocery bags, running on high heels to be on time for your date, cleaning the house, lifting the baby-twin maxi-cosy into the high-seated SUV, carrying that heavy suitcase in airports lacking elevators and escalators on business trips.. and of course.. having creative sex.. )
So yes, I really do believe the weightlifting and yoga are the best ‘stem’ for all the other activities (branches). Call it ‘the mother of all’. I definitely recommend doing both. And doing other exercise on the side (or: turn it around: at least do yoga or lifting on the side), whatever suits you: running, dancing, tennis, boxing, etc. Variation in all types of exercise (1-4) will truly help you build a strong balanced body and mind..
..in other words: be Happy, Healthy and Hot! ; )