Aerobic exercise makes your heart beat faster, such as walking fast, running, dance fitness or cycling and strengthens the heart and burns calories. It is also the best way to lose the dangerous belly fat stored around the middle. Half an hour every other day is ideal. What really turns you into a fatburner is either interval training or resistance or strength training. Resistance exercise, which involves pushing up weights or pulling against stretchy exercise bands, builds and maintains muscle which you will otherwise lose as you get older. On my website I have a 5 minute routine that I do every other day to build upper body muscle. To find out which type is best for you, here’s a look at 8 popular forms of exercise and their benefits:
This form of exercise which often involves tuition in a small group helps develop ‘core’ strength: strengthening the back and developing better muscle tone. It is not aerobic and therefore is best complemented with an aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling, jogging or swimming.
As well as being great for generating vital energy, yoga is excellent for stretching and maintaining suppleness. Some forms of yoga are more aerobic, such as Astanga yoga and as such are a complete form of exercise, for generating strength, suppleness and stamina.
This is a 16 minute routine, designed to generate vital energy and maintain a basic level of strength, suppleness and stamina. It is quite aerobic depending on the speed you practice it and is best backed up with some other aerobic exercise for maximum fitness. You can view my Psychocalisthenics demonstration here. You can also teach yourself Psychocalisthenics (or PCals for short) from the Pcals DVD
Classes in aerobics are taught in gyms and on DVDs and are obviously designed to keep you fit, with stamina and a degree of strength, depending on the muscles being used. Most aerobic exercise does not, however, keep you supple, so are best complemented with stretching exercises, both before and after the session.
Interval training is the secret of successful athletes and involves short bursts of high intensity exercise. For example, go for a jog or a brisk walk, then sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then slow down for a couple of minutes, and repeat this four to six times. This is as effective as 90 minutes a day, but will take you less than 8 minutes, according to research at Canada’s McMaster University by Professor Martin Gibala.
This excellent aerobic exercise is good for improving cardiovascular health, although make sure you don’t spend too long on busy roads breathing in exhaust fumes (oxidants). Cycling however won’t keep you supple so some stretching exercise is vital.
These are specific exercises designed to tighten, for example bum, tum and thigh muscles to improve muscle mass and strength. The more muscle mass you have the more fat you’ll burn. The correct toning exercises also help keep your back strong. However toning exercises need to be balanced with aerobic exercises and stretching.
An excellent all-round exercise, swimming develops strength, stamina and suppleness, although additional stretching is helpful. It is better to do some crawl or backstroke, as they help coordinate the body and brain, improving concentration. If you want to turn your life around and achieve levels of health and energy most people only dream about, The 10 Secrets of 100% Healthy People offers a simple and extraordinarily effective means of transforming your health and well-being.