Dr. Ali Ghahary has previously discussed the health benefits of exercise, including when the best time of day to exercise is; now, he’s sharing information on the different types of exercise and what’s best for you depending on your fitness goals.
If you’re new to exercise, are elderly, or have any pre-existing health conditions, then you won’t want to run a marathon. You’ll also want to check with your physician before committing to a fitness routine. Luckily, joining a marathon is not something you need to do in order to keep physically fit. Partaking in low-impact exercise can be just as beneficial as if you were to join a high-impact fitness class or train for a 10K run.
One great example of low-impact exercise is walking. Not only is it one of the best workouts you can get, but there are many ways in which you can implement walking into your routine. For example, if you’re used to driving down the street to grab a cup of coffee at your favourite café, try walking there instead. It can also be helpful to have a walking buddy, as this can make exercise more fun and feel like it goes by quicker. Aquafit classes are another great way to keep fit – you can burn as many as 240 to 250 calories, they give your less used muscles a workout, and are great for individuals of all ages – including those with injuries and disabilities. There are many public pools in and around Vancouver that offer aquafit classes year-round, which you can find by doing a simple Google search or by looking through your community’s Leisure Guide.
For older adults, maintaining strength is also important. When it comes to our bones and muscles, we need to keep them strong in order to prevent the risk of falls, breaks and sprains, but to also have the ability to perform everyday tasks, like lifting objects and carrying groceries. A great way to improve your strength is by lifting weights. For beginners, it’s important that you start off small – 2 days/week – and work your way up. Similarly, you should also not start off by lifting 120lb weights. By doing too much too soon, you increase your risk of injury. Many people are also not aware that they should prep their muscles prior to weight lifting; this means drinking plenty of water and doing a few simple stretches.
Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym or lifting weights, however. Many people say they find exercise to be “boring”, but it doesn’t have to be! It can also be fun! You can also get in some great physical activity by playing your favourite sport (tennis, soccer, basketball), dancing, or even doing gardening/yard work – as long as it’s something you enjoy.