Most people who start some type of fitness program do so for the physical benefits. It may be they want to “get in shape” so they can play with their kids or perform better as a ‘weekend warrior’ in a sport. They may just want to drop some pounds so they look better, or can fit into an old pair of jeans.
The great news is that these people are also getting plenty of health benefits from their exercise program. Provided of course, it’s the right kind of exercise.
Here are some simple fitness tips for health, with the side effect of losing weight, looking better, and moving better, too.
In order to see any benefits at all, including for health, from a fitness program, there must be consistency. It’s never finished. Benefits aren’t permanent from working out two hours a day, six days a week for a month, and then stopping all exercise. It also doesn’t come from working out hard for a few weeks, stopping for six months and picking it up again.
Consistency may be the biggest challenge for most people when it comes to exercise and it’s also the most important. The easiest way to build any type of consistency is by incorporating the next tip. It’s simple and easy and doesn’t even require any equipment.
For starters, most people nowadays not only move very little throughout the day, they spend a lot of it sitting. They may sit a desk all day at work, go home and then sit in front of the television at night for a few more hours.
Even kids are sitting way too much, between school and then at home with smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices. Studies have shown that too much sitting can cause a whole lot of problems, from increased risk of death via cancer and cardiovascular disease, to higher blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and higher cholesterol levels.
One particular study separated people into two groups – one that spent no more than two hours in front of the television, or some type of screen like a tablet, and a second group that spent more than four per day on the same activities.
There was almost a fifty percent increase risk of death by any cause and about a one hundred and twenty-five percent risk increase of symptoms of cardiovascular disease such as chest pain or heart attack.
This is true of other forms of sitting as well, such as being at a desk for work all day. The key solution is to move the body more, even simply walking.
For starters, simply getting up and walking around the office for a few minute every hour or so can work wonders. Even better, people should add walking to their daily regimen. Even a short walk off twenty minutes a day is beneficial to one’s health.
A person will burn more calories, which can lead to fat loss, as well as an energy increase and the possible triggering of important processes in the body such as the breakdown of fats and sugars.
A meta-analysis study showed walking to reduce cardiovascular-related events by as much as thirty-one percent while decreasing the risk of death during the study by thirty-two percent. This meta-analysis study showed that 44,452 male health professionals that were walking a minimum of a half hour per day showed an eighteen percent lower risk of coronary artery disease.
That same meta-analysis discovered that 72.488 female nurses that walked for a minimum of three hours per week had a thirty-five percent lower risk of a heart attack or cardiac death, while also lowering the risk of stroke by thirty-four percent.
Incorporate Strength Training
The next step to add some strength training. It doesn’t have to be some professional bodybuilding routine. Working out with resistance just twenty minutes per workout and two workouts per week can do wonders.
Having a certain amount of muscle mass is crucial for health. It helps people feel better, and move better as well as keeping the body functioning at optimal levels in terms of hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.
As people age, they naturally lose muscle mass. This causes weigh gain in the form of body fat, which lowers metabolism and can bring no a host of health related problems. Growth hormone and testosterone also lower as people age. A simple strength training program using body weight or dumbbells will go a long way toward staying healthy.
Combining walking with simple strength training and doing so consistently for the long term can work wonders for one’s health, from lowering the risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease, to lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
At a bare minimum, walk thirty minutes per day, five days per week and perform strength training two days per week for twenty minutes. Use these simple fitness tips for health benefits for they are more than worth the time.