How Changing Your Exercise Routine Can Change Your Body

Exercise routines can sometimes feel daunting and tedious. You wake up each morning and hop out of bed to either hit the gym or favorite spin class. The problem with following the same routine and style of exercise is that often you are working the same muscle groups in the same way. The best way to see results (fast!) is to consistently challenge muscles in new and different ways. For example, one of the benefits of yoga is the eccentric or lengthening of the muscle tissue during exercise versus the usual concentric or shortening of the muscle tissue during strength training. Below we have provided a little guide that shows the benefits of different types of exercise. We encourage you to change up your routine to keep your muscles guessing!

  • Strength / Resistance Training
    1. Improves insulin sensitivity
    2. Increases lean muscle mass
    3. Prevents age-related declines
    4. Safer for people at high CV (cardiovascular) risk
    5. Reduces blood pressure
    6. Improves bone mineral density
    7. Useful for weight loss
  • Aerobic Exercise
    1. Improves glycemic control
    2. Improves mood
    3. Improves lipids/ CV risk profile
    4. Intense aerobic ability is effective for weight loss
    5. Improves cognitive function
  • Balance Training
    1. Reduces risk of fall
    2. Improves core strength/stability
    3. Improves mobility and healing post-surgery/injury
  • Swimming/Water Aerobics
    1. Minimal impact on joints
    2. Great for beginning activity or for overweight
  • Yoga
    1. Develops mind-body awareness
    2. Reduce stress and promote relaxation and meditation
    3. Helps balance and strengthen
  • Any exercise
    1. Benefits glycemic control beyond weight loss alone
    2. Reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
    3. Reduces stress

How often should I exercise?

If you’re new to exercising, we recommend starting with 30 minutes of light to intermediate exercise 3-4 times per week. If you have been in a consistent exercise routine for more than 6 weeks, we encourage you to aim for 30 minutes of strength training 2-3 times per week and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 2-3 times per week. Studies show the biggest benefit comes with 200 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. HIIT training, spinning, or interval training are great examples of vigorous exercise. Lastly, we encourage everyone to spend 1 hour twice a week (minimum!) practicing yoga, stretching, or mediation.

Secrets to your success

1) A great tip to stay on track with your new exercise schedule is to find a workout buddy! This special friend will encourage you to never miss a workout, as you will do the same for them. Having someone to hold you accountable is a great way to stay motivated and on track to meet your health goals!

2) Another great secret is to make your workouts fun! If you hate spinning, don’t spin! Do a form of exercise that YOU enjoy so that you look forward to your workouts!

3) Put it in your calendar! We are all guilty of postponing workouts; we’re too tired, we didn’t bring the right clothing, or we don’t know what kind of exercise to do. Plan your week in advance! Look up classes you’re interested in taking or find time in your busy day to take an extra 20-minute walk.

4) Tight on cash? Do a bodyweight outdoor park workout!

5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 20 walking lunges, 30 jumping jacks, 40 squats, 50 mountain climbers.

Repeat 3 times!

Mountain climber: in a plank position, bring right knee to chest and then left knee to chest alternating back and forth as if your legs were running while hands are planted on the ground.

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