Running not included
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The best exercise for your body is a hotly-disputed topic but now I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has waded in with five recommendations. The suggestions can be found in a Harvard Medical School health report called Starting To Exercise, reports the Independent.
Here are the five types of exercises that are best for your body, according to the report…
The authors of the report say “you might call swimming the perfect workout”, thanks to it working every muscle in your body, while getting your heart rate up. Plus, being in water means it’s strain-free – making it great for individuals with arthritis.
- Tai chi
Tai chi is a Chinese marital art that combines deep breathing, relaxation and flowing movements. According to the NHS, studies have shown tai chi “can help to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.”
I-Min Lee says:
“[Tai chi] is particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older.”
- Strength training
Strength training includes everything from lifting weights, using resistance bands, heavy gardening, climbing stairs, hill walks, Pilates and yoga, cycling and body resistance exercises, such as squats, sit-ups, etc. Doing strength exercises might seem daunting, but they are imperative for healthy ageing, as they slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss, help posture, maintain a healthy body weight and flexibility.
The NHS recommend you do strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all of the major muscles.
Brisk walking has many health benefits and is a great form of exercise, as it works the lower body muscles, gets your heart rate up and can be a stress-buster. It also helps joint health and is low impact, making it perfect for those who are new to exercising.
The team at Harvard recommends beginners start with 10-15 minute treks and then building up the intensity and duration to 30-60 minute hikes.
- Kegel exercises
The team behind the report suggest the right way to do kegel exercises is by squeezing the muscles you would use to keep in urine or gas. Hold this for 2-3 seconds, release and repeat 10 times. They advise, for best results, to do these exercises 4-5 times per day.
Kegel exercises are sometimes called pelvic floor exercises, and are one of the first-line treatments for stress urinary incontinence.