A recent report published in the Healthbeat Newsletter by the Harvard Medical School enlightens us with ‘5 of the best exercises you can ever do’. Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School shows that the best exercises are surprisingly low cost. Here are the top five exercises suggested by Dr. Lee.
Swimming is an all-rounder, using every part of the body. It is a great workout because you need to move your body against the resistance of the water. It also keeps your heart rate up whilst taking the stress of impact from your body. All the while building muscle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. Swimming.org suggests that swimming for 30 minutes, three times a week along with a balanced diet is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep fit.
“Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight-bearing,” says Dr. Lee in the newsletter.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial arts practiced for both health benefits and defence training. It is slow movements that embrace your mind, body and spirit. The essential principles include mind integrated with the body; generating internal energy, control of movements and breathing. The ultimate purposes is to cultivate the life energy that is inside us to flow through the body powerfully and yet still smoothly. The Tai Chi for Health Website started by Paul Lam suggests that 30 to 60 minutes most days for the elderly and those with chronic conditions can be extremely beneficial.
“It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older,” Dr. Lee says in the newsletter.
Strength or resistance training which it is commonly called also is all about improving the tone and strength of your muscles. Not only does it improve this it helps your general metabolism and bones. The general idea of strength training is doing a set of exercise that works your muscles against a weight or a force. A beginner is advised to train two to three times a week to get the maximum benefit.
Walking is one of the best and most popular activities to get fit. Not only does it reduce stress, it also makes you more alert and helps you strengthen your body at the same time. It can also be a very good social activity which passes the time well. It is suitable for all fitness levels and ages. It is free, low impact and can be done anywhere at any time, no equipment required. Studies have suggested that walking for at least 30 minutes at a moderate to leisurely pace can have a great affect.
Kegel exercises are often forgotten about but can be entirely important especially in ones later life. The point of the exercises is to strengthen the pelvic floor and can be beneficial to both men and women. A Kegel exercise is like “pretending you have to urinate and then holding it”, according the Harvard newsletter. Ideally it is recommended to hold this position for two to three seconds, repeating 10 times. The best results are achieved if you can practice this four to five times a day.
It just goes to show that while new trendy exercise can be great, if you want to get fit and healthy you can still achieve this by free, age old exercises that are proven to be effective.