Wait… am I missing something?

Exercise is often thought of in the context of being on a dreadmill, bored to tears, doing something you hate doing. I see exercise as the opportunity to do right by my body, giving it the strength, endurance, and flexibility it needs to perform at its best.

p.s. I rarely step into a gym to get my exercise in.

Did you know there are four main types of physical activity? They include aerobic exercise, strength training, stretching, and balance exercises. It’s common to limit ourselves to just one or two types. However, each offers a different range of benefits and should be included in your routine.

Aerobic exercise

gives your heart and lungs a workout and increases endurance. Most types of cardio work can be considered aerobic, however, chores around the house or yard, for example, can also be a form of aerobic exercise. Leotard not required. 🙂

Strength training

builds muscle and stimulates bone growth, which is very important as we age. Two popular forms of strength training include weightlifting with either free weights or resistance machines but using resistance bands or everyday objects like soup cans, cats, and small nephews can also work. (just making sure you’re paying attention)

Stretching

maintains and improves flexibility to prevent injury and improve range of motion. There are two types of stretching – dynamic and static. Both are important components of any workout. If your muscles are still feeling tired or achy, myofascial release (also known as foam rolling) can help find those knotted up spots and help to release them. While altogether uncomfortable when done correctly, it’s one of the best things for muscle health and flexibility.

Balance exercise

is crucial to preventing falls. Typical balance exercises include standing on one foot or walking heel to toe, with your eyes open or closed. Yoga is ideal for cardio, strength training, stretching and balance.

Now that you have a better understanding of each type, can you identify what your routine is missing?

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