Considering I have spent my entire adult life in the field of orthopedic and sports physical therapy, it’s hard not to answer that question with an emphatic “YES!” Now that I have said “yes,” let’s talk about what I mean and how we effectively “workout” at a level that provides for peak health.
First, there are different ways to think about exercise. I would like to break this up into three different groups that, when combined, will maximize performance. Let’s break this into aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility and balance training.
When you heard the words “aerobic exercise,” you probably either groaned or cheered. There is rarely any middle ground.
Aerobic trainings are usually timed workouts, and include running, brisk walking, elliptical training and such – exercises that cause you to breathe heavily and sweat. Research indicates that if you work out vigorously for 75 minutes per week, or moderately for 150 minutes per week, the chances of cancer and heart disease decrease by 25 to 30 percent. Ideally, this type of program happens 3 to 5 times per week, varying in time and intensity. Performing the same program every day can lead to plateaus and boredom. Don’t be afraid to switch it up!
Another love or hate training regimen – strength training – also brings about great debate and confusion. Is it ideal for weight loss? What muscle is this exercise targeting? Is strength training even for me?
My opinion? Whether it’s traditional weight lifting in your garage or doing maximum weight exercises at the gym: do what you enjoy! If your workout gives you motivation to continue, then it’s clearly working.
When joining CrossFit, functional training or boot camp programs, be mindful to start slow and build your weight and reps. All of these programs are critical to building lean muscle mass, which drives up your metabolism and improves hormone balance. Improved muscle mass burns more calories per day and also helps boost testosterone levels in both male and females. While many gym-goers tend to target specific parts of the body, health pros suggest working every main muscle group in the upper and lower body. Don’t forget the core, too!
Flexibility & Balanced Training
Balance training and flexibility are becoming more and more trendy, being recognized as a beneficial activity for health. As we get older, we begin to lose our balance and flexibility at a somewhat alarming rate. As we lose these attributes, we become more apt for injury and notice a decline in athletic performance. Think about it: have you ever seen a professional athlete without balance or coordination?
Resultingly, I have become a fan of yoga. Yoga continues to evolve and grow as more variations seem to pop up daily. I recommend finding a program that meets your physical and spiritual perspective. Give it a try for 3-4 weeks and see how you feel mentally and physically.
CoreLife Eatery believes that as you feed your body the nutrients it needs, along with challenging your body and mind with the physical demands described above, you will “not be a spectator.” Instead, you will excel in the game of life. While we aim to provide you with a healthy diet, we also like to remind our fans and customers to nourish their soul and spirit as well!