Balance Exercise

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The fourth and final type of exercise is balance.

It is often overlooked, but it is definitely important for maintaining core strength. Core strength is important for other aspects of fitness such as strength training.

Balance is key in practicing yoga because if you are not balanced, you will not be able to hold the poses for a long amount of time. Practicing yoga is a way to test your balance to see if you need to improve.

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According to Body in Balance, having good balance can help improve reaction time. If you slip, you need to have good balance to keep yourself from falling.

Balance is especially important as we get older because our bodies are more inclined to fall or stumble due to aging.

According to Captel, some of the best ways to gain better balance are simple activities such as standing on one foot or walking from heal to toe.

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Flexibility

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The third type of exercise is flexibility. It is the lease traditional form of exercise out of the four types.

Flexibility provides a good foundation for the rest of the types of exercise especially strength and aerobic exercise. Two of the main benefits of being flexible are having a wider range of motion and improved athletic performance due to less restriction. These benefits were listed by Harvard Medical School.

Types of flexibility exercise include yoga and general stretching. Because it is a good foundation for other exercise, many people choose to do flexibility exercises such as stretching either before or after doing workout activities.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, stretching improves blood flow to muscles, which is necessary after a workout. If you skip this step of the exercise process, you are likely to be more sore after a workout.

There is scientific evidence to outline how important flexibility is for other forms of exercise, so do not skip it. Always remember to stretch and even do some yoga.

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Strength Exercise

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Strength exercise is exactly how it sounds, it builds up strength of muscles and bones.

Strength exercise can be altered depending on one’s level of skill and strength. For instance, someone who starts off doing five pound weights might increase to 10 pound weights with time.

The Captel website lists examples of strength training as using free weights, using resistance machines and using resistance bands to build strength. An example of a resistance machine is a seated leg press.

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The benefits of strength training are extensive. Obviously, you will be stronger if you strength train. One less obvious benefit is less threat of injury.

According to BodyBuilding.com, strong muscles and bones are less likely to be injured in the future.

You do not have to join a gym to strength train. As stated in a previous post, you may buy weights to use at home, or you can use resistance bands to get a similar effect.

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Aerobic Exercise

In my next four posts, I am going to explain the different types of exercise: aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance.

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Aerobic is defined as “in the presence of or with oxygen” according to E Medicine Health. Therefore, aerobic exercise involves increased heart rate and increased breathing for an extended period of time. It challenges your body, which is why you need more oxygen.

Jogging, climbing stairs, dancing, and biking are all different types of aerobic exercises.

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Benefits of aerobic exercise are increased endurance and the prevention of disease such as diabetes according to the Captel website. Because of the increased breathing, your lungs and general circulatory system benefit from this exercise.

If you plan on trying aerobic exercise, stay hydrated because being hydrated will help your body perform to its full potential.

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Everyday Health recommends having both a warm-up and cool-down routine in your exercise to prepare your body to begin and cease exercising.

Aerobic exercise is probably the most common and the best place to start a fitness routine. Leslie Sansone’s walking program is another example of aerobic exercise.

Running

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One of the most basic and daunting exercises is running.

When I first started running, I absolutely hated it. With determination and time, it does get better though.

It is important to remember not to overdo it immediately. Pace yourself. Figure out what works best for you and your body.

For me, the best thing was to start out by walking for a period of time and then switch to running. Treadmills make it easy to transition from walking to running easily while also monitoring heart rate and distance.

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The Guide to Treadmill Running states that one of the most common mistakes is using the handrails too often. Be aware of that if you are interested in trying it.

Running with other people can help build accountability and community. Having a standard time and place to run with someone else can provide consistency and routine.

According to ACTIVE, running can help relieve stress by using up the excess energy it causes. This can prevent many diseases that are caused by stress as well.

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Orange Theory

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Another new exercise program that is sweeping the nation is called Orange Theory.

Orange theory is the hottest one-hour group personal training workout that keeps burning calories for up to 36 hours as described on the website.

The main theory behind the program is heart rate monitored training that uses metabolism to get energy levels up. The heart rate monitoring system used in classes can be linked to the app to track progress even after the class is over.

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The coaches focus on endurance, strength, and power in the workouts and use equipment like weights and treadmills to train their students.

In an interview with CNBC, CEO David Long said, “I think technology enables the consumer to see results, understand how to work out better and, up until just a few years ago, I think the lack of technology made it very hard for people to hit their fitness goals.”

Technology seems to be one of the reasons for OrangeTheory’s success.

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Yoga

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One of the best types of exercise that I tried when I came to college was yoga. Not only does it help physical strength but also mental strength.

The local gym at my university provides great classes for all skill levels. One of the main reasons why people do not want to try yoga is because they feel intimidated. This is why it is so important to find a class and an instructor that makes you feel comfortable.

A huge benefit of yoga is its ability to relieve stress. The yoga poses help increase flexibility and improve muscle tone, which makes it a great form of exercise

A huge part of yoga is mental, and a thing that I like to do is workout doing something more difficult like running and then take a yoga class to calm down.

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According to the Yoga Journal a huge benefit of yoga is improving posture, which is important and often overlooked.

Basic poses like the Mountain Pose and the Downward Facing Dog are essential for the foundation of yoga and are referenced frequently in classroom settings.

If you want to exercise and unwind at the same time, yoga could be beneficial for you.

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Home Weights

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One of the best investments I’ve made in my fitness journey is a set of weights for myself. I bought them to motivate me to workout even when I could not make it to the gym.

I stated in a previous post that Leslie Sansone offers the option to use weights in her walking videos. However, a set of weights can be helpful even outside of her program.

Weight training is obviously beneficial to build up muscles. According to the Active website, weight training can also help control bone loss due to increasing bone density.

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Another great benefit of weight training from home is that you can build up your strength in private if you are intimidated to try weights at the gym. The key is to start small and build up so that you do not overwork yourself.

The NerdFitness Strength Training guide helped me when I started using my weights, and it is a great resource if you are starting out.

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Hiking

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Have you ever wanted to exercise with a view? Hiking might be the perfect thing for you.

When I visited my friend in Atlanta recently, we hiked Stone mountain. It was one of the most difficult but most rewarding experiences of my life. Not only was it more difficult than it looked, but it also took way more energy than I expected.

Once we reached the top, it was all worth it because of the incredible view. In about an hour, I had received a well-balanced workout.

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If you do not live near a mountain, you can hike in other scenic areas like a park or a trail. The best hiking sites are ones that have some sort of elevation or unique terrain that will present a challenge.

Another factor to consider when hiking is having good shoes. If you have shoes without grip, the hike becomes dangerous instead of fun. According to Switchback Travel, Salomon and Merrell produce some of the best hiking shoes.

I would definitely recommend hiking as fun type of exercise. If you would like to hike Stone Mountain, here is a link to the website. The American Hiking Society’s website is another source to learn more about general hiking.

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