Which Forms of Exercise Give the Best Improvement to Overall Health?

Our bodies and minds respond best to a wide array of stimuli, and when it comes to exercise things are no different. A mixture of resistance and cardio training can maintain optimal muscle mass while maintaining strength and stamina until old age. To care for your body and mind, a good stretching routine is also important, focussing on both flexibility and de-stressing. These are just some of the benefits of Yin Yoga classes, which- thanks to their meditative approach and ability to lengthen deep connective tissues- make an ideal addition to an otherwise more vigorous workout routine.

What are the Most Important Types of Exercise?

Harvard Medical School identifies four main types of exercise: aerobic, strength, stretching, and balancing. Engaging in a little of each of these each week is the best way to maintain your health and well-being at peak levels. Even better, that variety can keep motivation levels high, by keeping your fitness routine interesting and engaging.

Aerobic Exercise Benefits:

A solid program of cardio exercises is where a lot of us start in our fitness journeys. Burning calories and improving stamina, an uptick in aerobic ability keeps us going for longer and feeling good while we’re at it. All that breaking a sweat has incredible benefits for our overall long-term health, too. Those include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, numerous cancers, type 2 diabetes, and levels of inflammation in the body, while the mood boost a good cardio session can provide is well-documented.

Doctors recommend just 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week to see these benefits. That’s just two one-hour sessions of something like our HIIT classes or boxing, and a 45 minutes cycle ride. And when you’re training with a community like ours, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t even realise you’re working hard!

What Are Strength Exercises?

Any exercise that causes your muscles to work against resistance such as your own body weight, dumbbells, or other apparatus is considered a strength exercise. By forcing those muscles to work harder than they’re used to, you can induce them to grow in both size and power. Such improvements are extremely protective for the body, increasing bone density, reducing joint pain and injury risk, and assisting balance and posture.

One of the key features of ageing is loss of muscle mass and strength. As a result, we know how important maintaining a good strength training program is as we age. By doing so, we can truly stay younger and more mobile for longer.

Why are Stretching and Balancing Exercises Important?

Over the years, and with heavy strength and cardio training, muscle fibres can shorten and become inflexible. This restricts movement, and causes pain and potential injury, but is easily avoided by devoting a bit of time in your routine to stretching and balancing. As we age these become especially important, as such movements maintain our mobility and prevent potential falls.

Yoga classes are an ideal way to incorporate more stretching exercises into your day-to-day life. Whether you choose more dynamic forms of yoga such as Vinyasa or the deeply meditative Yin yoga is up to your personal preference. In both, you can expect a focus on energy flow and breathing through the sensations as your muscle tissues are elongated by the postures. Stress and anxiety are washed away as the fibres of the body are strengthened and lengthened.

Depending on your body type and fitness goals, there may be one type of exercise more than another that can help you on your journey. But it is by incorporating an exciting variety of forms and types of physical activity into your routine that you will see the greatest benefits to your health, both long-term and short-term. Check out our full classes list now to get started!



The Transformational Power of Strength Training for Women’s Empowerment

Once upon a time, the thought of a woman doing strength training would have been absurd. Weight training was the domain of men, and muscles or strength were deemed unladylike. Thankfully, times have changed, and these ridiculous notions are a thing of the past. Ladies are now blessed with state-of-the-art facilities for women’s strength training in Dubai, no more so than at Platform Studios’ clubs. Women everywhere are discovering the myriad empowering benefits that a strength training routine can bring to every facet of their lives.


Should a Woman Start a Strength Training Routine?

The answer to this is clearly a resounding yes! Strength training involves forcing muscles to work against an opposing force such as free weights, resistance bands, or your own bodyweight. This then causes tiny amounts of stress to the muscle tissues, necessitating they adapt by building new, stronger tissue. As well as greater, stronger muscle mass, bones, ligaments, and tendons are also strengthened and reinforced.

The physical changes brought about by strength training bring a multitude of physiological benefits to the body. Bone density is improved, while blood pressure and cholesterol measurements are brought down. The added stronger muscles protect surrounding bodily structures from injury, reducing pressure on joints and any associated pain, especially later in life. The impeccable posture weight training requires is sure to have a beneficial impact on your posture in your day-to-day life, too.

For most women, modern life is all go, and keeping up can often feel challenging. Splitting our time between our duties at work, chores at home, and in the garden, while running around after children. It can be exhausting just thinking about all that, let alone fitting in hobbies and socialising as well!  And as we age, our diminishing strength and muscle mass can make keeping pace even harder. The improved fitness and stamina that strength training brings can help us breeze through our daily duties, and still have energy for fun in our free time.

Psychologically, too, the benefits of a strength training routine are plentiful. As well as lowering stress and cortisol levels, a weight training program will certainly boost your confidence. Being physically strong and self-sufficient is so empowering- not needing to ask for help lifting things brings a surprising amount of pride! Female strength training fans frequently describe feeling less vulnerable, and immeasurably more self-assured- like invincible superwomen even! The sense of accomplishment felt at lifting weights you previously couldn’t manage gives a sense of achievement week after week.


Does Strength Training Make You Bulky?

No, strength training will absolutely not make you bulky unless you deliberately create that look with exercises intended to increase mass. The bodybuilder physique takes a lot of careful, targeted work to achieve, and isn’t the result of a generalised strength training routine. You can use weights to change your body shape though. While exercise can’t target bodyparts for fat loss, increasing muscle mass in specific areas can certainly take you from pear-shaped to hourglass!

An increase in muscle mass also works wonders for helping to maintain a healthy body mass and composition. A better muscle-to-fat ratio means that there is less stress on your organs and heart, improving cardiovascular health. What’s more, muscle burns calories even when at rest, boosting your metabolism, meaning it’s easier to maintain a healthy weight.


Given it delivers such physical, mental, and lifestyle benefits, it’s a wonder strength training hasn’t been a go-to workout for women for longer. In terms of empowerment and improvements to confidence and self-esteem, it can’t be beaten. Why not seize the day and contact one of our expert strength training instructors to get started right away?

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