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!