From yoga to cycling to HIIT, there are so many fitness programs out there that all claim to be the most beneficial (much like diet fads too – Understanding Trendy Diets) that it can be paralyzing. How do you know if you want interval training or strength building? Can they be the same? Where do I start?
So, what type of fitness is right for you?
Though all the various types of exercise programs have positive benefits, finding which on is right for you can be tough. It truly depends on your goals and physical needs. To help, we break down the different types of fitness routine to make deciding a little easier:
STRENGTH AND RECOVERY
These types are exercises are great for increasing your balance, reducing risk of falls, improving joint pain and function, preventing injuries and increasing metabolism.
If you struggle with adrenal fatigue, chronic injuries and/or joint and muscle pain, you may want to focus on exercises that are more recovery based and muscle building. Increasing lean muscle mass helps with reducing joint pain and increasing balance.
If your goal is to increase lean muscle mass, strength and metabolism for weight management, you will also want to incorporate these exercises into your routine. Muscle tissue burns more calories over the course of the day, so increased muscle mass will increase your metabolic activity.
Exercise routines to try:
- weight training
If you fall into the category of adrenal fatigue and injury recovery, you will want these exercise to be your primary focus. Start with 3 days a week and work up from there.
If your goal is to increase lean muscle mass and metabolism. Incorporate these into your workouts 2-3 days a week. You may also want to consider mixing them with your cardio days for increased athletic performance and endurance (see below)
If your goal is to lean down and burn some fat, you definitely want to incorporate cardio into your regular routing. Keep in mind, you will have greater fat loss success if you also incorporate lean muscle mass building with strengthening exercises. Fat burning exercises are not going to trim you down by themselves. You have to incorporate dietary changes as well. Get more information on which diet is right for you here; Understanding Trendy Diets.
Cardio-only exercises are not going to be the best choice for someone struggling with adrenal fatigue. Extended cardio is hard on the adrenal system since it requires a lot of cortisol output. Someone already struggling with weight and adrenal fatigue, may find they can’t make any progress with this type of exercise.
Cardio exercises for fat burning include anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time, like:
When participating in these types of exercises for more than 20 minutes at a time, they can increase your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
ENERGY AND ENDURANCE
By combining weight training with cardiovascular training you can have a greater effect on endurance, energy and stamina. This can be done by alternating strength training with cardio training, but the the most effective way is to combine the two in one workout.
These types of workouts are great for those looking to improve physique and athletic performance.
For those with adrenal fatigue, it may not be the best exercise to start with, as these types of workouts are challenging and will naturally put a stress on your cortisol output and adrenal function. Adrenal function is key to metabolic activity, so if you are already struggling with this, you may want to start with more restorative exercises such as those listed above for strength and recovery.
HITT, or high intensity interval training, workouts are a common way to achieve these goals and have gained a lot of popularity in many gyms. They include short bursts of high intensity outputs followed by periods of low intensity strength building, or ‘active rest.’
These exercises can be done at home and there are many youtube videos on the subject.
For group classes, look for:
- Orange Theory
- Or other bootcamp-type private gyms around your neighborhood
No matter what type of exercise you do, working out plays an integral role in your overall health and wellbeing. Some of the many benefits of consistent exercise are:
- Increased energy
- Better, more restful sleep
- Improved moods
- Increased memory retention, learning and problem solving skills
- Increased libido
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Improved balance and reduced risk of falls
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
And more than anything, what we have found to be the most successful workout plan, is to find something you enjoy. Oftentimes, walking out the door to head to a workout is the hardest part in making it part of your daily routine. Find what makes you feel your best and you will continue going.