What Is The Most Effective Type of Exercise?
By Nurse Kimberly
Over the past few years I have exposed my body to several different forms of exercise. In 2009 I trained and completed the Lewis and Clark half marathon in two hours and twenty six minutes. After the run I was overwhelmed with feelings of accomplishment and happiness. It almost did not seem real. Two years prior to registering for the marathon I couldn’t even walk a mile without huffing and puffing. That proves that your body can really do and become anything you want it to. But is training for a marathon and running the most effective type of exercise?
My answer is no. Once the marathon was over I did not run more than 4 miles at a time for about 6 months. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to exercise, it was because my body was burnt out on running and training. What works best for me is variety. In 2010 I started to incorporate regular weight training into my workouts. Doing a wide variety of exercise prevents me from getting bored. Also, your body needs to be challenged. If you do the same exercise all of the time you might hit a plateau. Switch things up and make it fun.
Last week I did four completely different workouts. On Monday I did a kick boxing video that was a killer cardiovascular work out. When I think of what I must look like when I am punching and kicking the air it really makes me laugh! The great thing about work out dvds is the ability to stay home and not worry about how ridiculous my right hook may look.
On Thursday I went to the gym and did a weight lifting chest work out. In between each set of repetitions I did either 20 lunges on each leg or 20 squats. Doing intense cardio bursts between weight lifting sets allows me to get the most out of my workouts. You could also do crunches, jumping jacks, or step ups on a stool in between sets. The key is to keep moving and keep your heart rate up.
On Saturday I did a similar work out. This time I focused on weight lifting for my biceps and triceps. After the weight lifting and cardio bursts I finished off the workout with a 10 minute jog on the treadmill.
Sunday was sunny so I enjoyed a nice jog outside to finish off the week.
For me the key to exercise is variety. Too much of anything is never good and can also lead to injuries. The best and most effective way to exercise is to try different things and always keep your body guessing. If you belong to a gym map out a routine before you go. Pick 4 new weight machines and try doing cardio bursts after each set. Introduce your body to a different type of cardio. Spinning, stair stepping, and kick boxing are fun and offer a total body burn!
What is your favorite type of exercise? Share below I love hearing new ideas! No matter what type of exercise you choose make sure you are having fun, drinking plenty of water, and stretching. Happy Sweating!