Types of exercises and their benefits
In most cases, one will focus on one type of exercise and believe that one will achieve all of one’s exercise needs. However, exercise requires working various muscle groups with the goal of increasing the heart rate beyond normal levels while keeping the body functioning properly.
That’s why Augustine Kasujja, a fitness trainer, says flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance should be considered as one exercise. He adds that apart from each type complementing the other, the variety kills boredom and reduces the risk of injury. Regardless of age, there are activities in all five major groups to indulge in.
These are also called aerobic exercises and are ideal for increasing your breathing and heart rate.
“They help to stay healthy and perform tasks better. Plus, they help improve the health of the heart, circulatory system, and lungs. In this way, many diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiac arrest are avoided,” says Kasujja, adding that some of the workouts in this category include jogging, dancing, stair climbing, tennis, basketball, brisk walking and cycling, among others. others.
Listen to your body: While you want to stay fit and healthy, Kasujja says it’s important to make sure you’re not going beyond what the body can handle. For example, if you feel dizzy, you should stop and rest.
Warming up: Our muscles need to be prepared before any workout. Therefore, even before aerobics, light walking helps muscles prepare for movement. Thereafter, the tempo may increase.
Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause dizziness which affects workouts. Also, when you exercise, says Kasujja, you sweat, which requires taking in enough fluids.
These break down glucose in the body without using oxygen. Therefore, they are intense and short, done in the form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Fitness coach Monica Nakyejwe explains that these alternate between high-intensity intervals and rest or recovery.
“Workouts help build muscle mass, strength and power and last no longer than two minutes,” she says.
These include sprinting, weight lifting, intense and rapid jumping, and any fast-paced activity that causes a burst of energy. While these are also good for heart health, aerobic exercises are better.
“Anaerobic exercise also burns more fat even when the body is at rest. This is because muscles are efficient at burning body fat,” Nakyejwe explains.
Although strength and resistance training can also be found in anaerobic exercises, they are generally not intense or fast-paced. Oscar Kisitu, a fitness trainer, says strength training makes it possible to be independent, especially for older people. Thus, they will be able to carry their shopping, climb the stairs with ease.
“The workouts also help strengthen the muscles, which improves balance and stability. This is crucial in older people where strong hip and leg muscles are important,” he says.
Kisitu adds that if you want to wear weights to improve your strength, you should start with light weights and add them gradually. “You can also use resistance bands as they have varying strengths. Also, try to do weight training for all of your major muscles at least twice a week, but never one muscle group for two consecutive days,” advises- he.
Other strength training exercises include shopping hauls, arm curls, lifting your body weight, and arm curls.
Make sure to breathe regularly and never hold your breath when exercising. Also, when pushing or lifting, exhale and then inhale as you relax.
These teach to maintain control even when changing direction, slowing down or speeding up. Rita Onen, a fitness enthusiast, says that when engaging in these workouts, the person relies on coordination, speed, position, and balance. For example, in playing tennis, it is agility that allows the player to maintain position, control the ball and recover after each shot.
Other exercises in this category include boxing, badminton, table tennis, volleyball, soccer, American football, and martial arts.
These will help maintain stability and prevent falls. They are especially crucial for older people because among these, Onen says, systems such as eyesight, leg joints, inner ears and leg muscles begin to break down. “Therefore, balance training is needed to ensure these are fixed.” Workouts include standing from a seated position on the floor, heel-to-toe walking, handstand walking, and standing on one foot,” she says.
Although many never consider them when they are still young because their muscles are still healthy, as we age flexibility is lost in the tendons and muscles.
“Shortened muscles do not work well as they are susceptible to muscle pain, damage and cramps. Additionally, one will suffer from joint pain, falls are more common and simple tasks like tying shoelaces become difficult”, explains Nakyejwe.
She adds that regularly stretching our muscles makes them more flexible and longer, improving the range of motion one can undertake while reducing the risk of injury and pain.
Before you stretch, make sure your muscles are warmed up, which can be done by walking. “Also, stretch after strength exercises and listen to your body so you don’t stretch to pain. While you’re at it, remember to breathe normally,” she advises.