Maintaining one’s fitness has become more important than ever with work, school and entertainment all transitioning towards the home. With people now having fewer reasons than ever before to leave the home, it’s no wonder that people’s physical health and fitness has deteriorated over the course of the pandemic.
One of the major factors linked to this deterioration is the link between emotional/mental well being and physical health. As much as we like to separate the two, they are in fact very closely intertwined with a negative impact on one strongly correlating with a negative impact on the other and vice versa. What this means is that improving one’s physical fitness isn’t the only key to living a better life but focusing on all aspects: physical, mental, and emotional equally to give you the best results down the line.
How Exercise Impacts Your Health: Physical
Exercise isn’t merely about getting buff but about improving all aspects of one’s health. Regular physical exercise of at least one hour per day has been shown to lead to a substantial decrease in cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
Physical exercise has also been linked to strengthening of bones, joints and ligaments which reduces your risk of not only injury but also osteoporosis in later age.
This is partially due to sustained exercise’s role in controlling your weight by reducing your appetite. Aerobic exercise (i.e. long, sustained periods of exercise that increase an individual’s endurance such as jogging, swimming, cycling and more) also change one's appetite and a lower metabolism means less overeating and better weight management.
How Exercise Impacts Your Health: The Mental/Emotional
Physical exercise has demonstrated a remarkable ability to control one's mood.
This is because exercise causes the body to release higher levels of: 1) dopamine, 2) endorphins and 3) adrenaline.
Dopamine: Dopamine has been referred to as the ‘happy hormone’ and has been shown to improve one’s mood by repressing negative emotions and encouraging positive ones.
Endorphins: Endorphins function as the stress control hormones and because of this have a variety of benefits. Prolonged exercise has been shown to reduce rates of anxiety and depression as well as improve a person's length and quality of sleep.
Adrenaline: The increased output of adrenaline (i.e. the energizing hormone) during exercise has been shown to improve energy levels as well as result in an improved and healthier sex life.
Kettlebells: Getting the Most Out of a Full Body Exercise
When discussing the effectiveness of the kettlebell, we need to discuss the effectiveness of the full body workout. The full body workout is what takes a personal workout from average effectiveness to pro. A full body workout is one that focuses on all the major muscle groups of the body. What makes fitness equipment such as the kettlebell so special is its versatility when it comes to personal workouts.
There are numerous types of kettlebells that all serve their own purpose yet at the same time can all be used in a myriad of ways to exercise your arms, chest, abs, lower body or back, all depending on what you want to achieve.
The 3 Types of Kettlebells
- Cast Iron Kettlebells: Typically seen as the industry standard, cast iron kettlebells are the most widely produced and sold model. They are also generally the most affordable as they offer the most bang for their buck. Crafted out of a single piece of metal, the handle of the cast iron kettlebell tends to be welded to the body of the bell which decreases its durability and amount of force over time it can withstand.
- Competition Kettlebells: As the name implies, competition kettlebells are most often used by athletes in competitive settings such as weight lifting contests. They are also unique as they all come in a standard shape and size with no deviation. This uniform size is achieved by hollowing out the center to decrease the bell's weight. This model is perfect for those who have good technique and don’t have to adjust when increasing weight. However, due to its narrow handle, it isn’t very comfortable for double-handed exercises and can be quite expensive for your average gym-goer.
- Vinyl Dipped Kettlebells: Vinyl dipped kettlebells are a class of soft coated kettlebells that serve to help out beginners and intermediates. This is because vinyl dipped kettlebells’ soft surface provides benefits such as making less noise upon impact contributing to less noise, a soft cover that keeps your floors from scratching and an easier time grabbing onto the kettlebell with a sticky vinyl coating that can help maintain your grip even if you suffer from sweaty hands.
Top Full Body Exercises with Kettlebells
- Kettlebell Swing: One of the most tried and true exercises with a kettlebell is the swing. This exercise consistently targets the abs, shoulders, pecs, glutes, quads and just about everything else with a single motion. Start by standing straight with your feet at roughly shoulder width. Grab the handle with both hands with your palms facing you on the downward swing. Lower your body by bending your knees and driving your hips back when swinging and you’ve mastered this exercise!
- Single Arm Kettlebell Row: If you're a fan of working your biceps and triceps, the kettlebell hasn't abandoned you. The single arm row involves your back, core and arm muscles and consists of taking a step back with your dominant leg and leaning your weight forward. Pull the kettlebell into your same side hip and then lower so that your arm is once again fully extended. A weight lifting bench is beneficial.
- Kettlebell Lunge: Whether it’s a forward or reverse lunge, kettlebells help to increase the effectiveness of this common exercise maneuver by adding additional pressure onto your glutes, back, legs, core, and arms. To perform the lunge, hold both kettlebells on either side with your arms fully extended. Take a step forward or backwards with one leg and bend the front knee such that it is at a 90 degrees angle before standing back up again.
- Kettlebell Twist: The kettlebell twist is one of the most gruelling yet effective workouts. Mainly focusing on the core while also targeting shoulders, glutes and more, the twist involves sitting down and ideally, balancing yourself on your bottom with your knees bent and not touching the floor. From here, you hold the kettlebell in front of you at chest height and proceed to rock it from side to side whilst maintaining your balance. If this is too difficult, put your feet on the floor for extra support.
The kettlebell is an incredibly versatile piece of gym equipment used everywhere from your amateur home gym to the fitness centres of world-class athletes. For a wide selection of high quality fitness equipment as well as quick and convenient service, feel free to browse through our wide array of equipment and accessories or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more today!