Exercise is something that we all aspire to do more often but at the end of the day, never get around to for one reason or another. In a recent survey by Kennedy fitness, a Jefferson Health Affiliate, 60% of individuals who join a fitness centre drop out within the first year! Subsequent studies by gym management software giant Glofox have found the top reasons listed for membership cancellations were pricing, losing motivation, feeling out of place, not seeing results quickly enough or simply not using their memberships.
Why Exercise Is Not Merely Desirable but Essential
The takeaway from this is that people are very creative when it comes to getting away from work that needs to be done. However, this unfortunately carries with it some staggering consequences. For one, physical activity is essential for your body not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
In a CDC study, physical activity has been found to reduce the risk of physical impairments:
Cardiovascular Impairments (Heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes)
Musculoskeletal Strength (bones and muscles more susceptible to injury or straining as well as weaker, more brittle bones and obviously, smaller size and less definition on muscles)
Obesity (the chemical produced during exercise, serotonin, also acts as a regulator for your body’s appetite, telling your body when its full)
However, in a more under looked aspect of physical activity’s benefits are its reduction of mental and emotional impairments such as:
Insomnia (it’s been found that especially moderate to vigorous exercise before bed or early in the morning is effective)
Anxiety and Depression (regular exercise raises your levels of serotonin which act as an antidepressant, making you feel good and allowing you to relax)
According to the Alzheimer’s Research and prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise has been attributed to a 50% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer's!
What Type of Exercise Should I Do?
Let’s say you’re now motivated to start your exercising regime right away. Hold on there, you need to know what you’re working with before you go chagrin in. Like with many other things, there’s a bit more nuance than at first glance.
Not all exercise is made equal. This is in the sense that depending on which type of exercise you participate in; you’ll achieve different results. I’m talking about the distinction between aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Aerobic Fitness: ‘Aerobic’ means with air and is meant to express endurance based exercise. Examples include jogging, swimming, hiking, or running a marathon. These tend to increase a person’s heart rate and breathing rate over a relatively long period of time. What this does most allow your body the time to transform your body’s extra fat cells into energy. This is why this form of exercise is ideal for cardiovascular health and weight loss as well as also carrying less of a risk of injury.
Anaerobic Fitness: Consequently, ‘anaerobic’ as you might have guessed means without air and express exercises done for short bursts of time. Some examples include sprinting, weight lifting and calisthenics. These generally occur for an interval of less than several minutes which does not give your body the time to convert fat cells into energy. However, anaerobic fitness is ideal for building muscle and bone strength by strengthening your bones, muscles, and joints and of course, for achieving those gains.
What Type of Workout Should I Start Out with?
To start off, if you are a beginner or even intermediate but coming back from a period of inactivity, it’s also best to focus a bit on everything rather than a lot on a few specific regions. What I mean by this is that instead of focusing all your efforts on building your biceps, pectorals, and abs, you should instead do a full body workout.
Full body workouts are ones that focus on all or most of your 7 major muscle groups: 1) chest, 2) back, 3) shoulders, 4) legs and calves, 5) biceps, 6) triceps, and 7) stomach. This is because full body workouts will maximize your calorie burn if you’re not looking to go into bodybuilding but simply to get back into shape.
For those that focus too much on some muscle groups whilst neglecting others, muscle imbalance has some unwanted side effects such as an increased risk of injury due to the structural imbalance in the body, damage to your joints and ligaments and potentially aching pains. That's not to mention your disjointed appearance of for example super buff arms but a flat chest.
What Equipment Should I Be Using?
One of the most recognizable pieces of gym equipment are dumbbells. Whether you see them when walking into your local gym on the dumbbells rack or at your friend’s basement/garage home gym, it’s something that you should consider.
The power of the dumbbell comes not in its size but in its versatility. Dumbbells are the ideal equipment for a full body workout and here’s why.
There are numerous exercises you can perform using a dumbbell which all impact different muscle groups of your body such as:
Bench Press: This classic exercise works not only your biceps but also triceps, pectorals, and forearms.
Bicep Curl: The curl, which can be done practically anywhere is a useful tool for strengthening your biceps but also wrist, forearm, and shoulders.
Calf Raise: The calf raise whilst holding dumbbells adds extra resistance to your leg muscles and improves your lower body strength.
Lunges: This popular exercise is also greatly enhanced with the use of dumbbells by making sure that your quadriceps and calves but also back and glutes are strengthened.
Dumbbells for All Shapes and Sizes
Fitness Avenue has recently come with their adjustable dumbbells which allow you to change the weight of your dumbbells through a lever or dial without needing to buy an extra pair. Not only is this ideal for saving you money but also for an environment when being independent from your gym and having a place to work out at home are more important than ever.
To look through our expansive library of high quality fitness equipment, visit us at www.fitnessavenue.ca to have your new equipment shipped to your door today!