Did you know that after the age of 30, your body starts to lose muscle mass? Research has shown, without question, that the best way to address this loss of muscle is with exercise.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the best exercise to do (if you missed it you can click here to read it)…and today I am continuing that theme with my exercise recommendations. In order of importance, here are the three components you should be including in your weekly exercise routine:
1. LIFT WEIGHTS! (or, resistance training)
This doesn’t necessarily mean lifting physical dumbbells, it could be your own body weight (eg push ups and squats are both forms of weight training) or it could be using resistance bands or even doing pilates on a reformer. Any exercise which causes “damage” to your muscles and require them to work hard, is a form of “lifting weights”.
This damage I refer to are microtears which occur in your muscles when you lift weights – they are what create metabolic changes in your body and keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy.
2. GET YOUR HEART PUMPING! (or, cardio)
Walk, run, cycle, swim, row, step, box – do anything that gets your heart beating faster than normal (sorry, scary movies don’t count)…because this is what boosts blood flow in your body.
You might like to combine your resistance training with cardio to get your heart pumping fast while lifting weights – this is great, especially if you’re time poor. In fact, more and more research is pointing to high intensity interval training as an effective way to get your daily exercise – some even say you can do as little as 4 minutes a day (they’re called TABATAs, and I’m a big fan!)
3. REST & RELAX! (or, flexibility/stretching and breathing)
This third type of exercise is often overlooked, but it’s really one where you get the most results (did you know that when you lose weight, you lose it by breathing out?)
Whether it’s stretching, yoga, foam rolling, qi gong, meditation, slow walking in nature or having a long hot bath – all of these encourage deep breathing which activates your parasympathetic nervous system and helps your body to relax – which is really important considering the highly stressful lifestyles most people live.
My usual prescription for people who are serious about wanting to know what exercise they should be doing?
First, choose something you enjoy.
Make sure you do: 2-3 resistance sessions per week, 2-3 cardio sessions per week and 2-3 stretch sessions – so the minimum is 6 sessions per week – but remember, you can always combine them.
My current ideal? 2 weights/barre/reformer sessions, 3 yoga sessions and 5-7 walking sessions every week…I’d be lying if I said I always achieved all of these…but at least I’ve got a goal 🙂
Now…what’s your weekly exercise goal?
Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s to more exercise in your week 🙂