Why should I start implementing resistance exercises?
The essential reasoning behind performing resistance training is to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that in addition to eating a balanced diet, “engaging in regular physical activity (60 minutes per day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults)” will decrease the risk of obesity and heart disease in addition to lowering the risk of bone degeneration/osteoporosis. There are also mental benefits from yoga, running, and lifting heavy weights, rather than aggressively throwing those weights down on the ground.
What is the best workout?
There is not just one way to perform resistance training. Certain options have aspects of training that some people may enjoy, while others might dislike. Alternatives in resistance and strength training do exist and here are some notable mentions that include but are not limited to:
- Olympic lifting
- Functional fitness – a type of exercise that supports your everyday life. It includes movements such as walking, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, lunging, and core
- Dance (zumba, ballet, etc)
- Sports ( soccer, rugby, lacrosse, basketball, etc)
- Other forms of cardio (running, cycling, swimming, rowing, etc) – can take the form of long distance or sprint/short distance training, Yoga, pilates, boxing, hiking, and winter sports are also great.
Just be aware that just because you dance, or compete in powerlifting, or do yoga, does not mean that you are doing what your body needs. Maybe yoga is your primary form of fitness, but you also lift weights and play basketball to get some strength and cardio training. The combinations and ability to try new forms of fitness are endless and beneficial to a balanced lifestyle in the arena of fitness, health, and wellness.
Oh my goodness, where do I start?
Becoming physically fit is a massive undertaking, almost like a tsunami flooding you with information. So where does someone get started? The first step can vary dramatically depending on your motivation to get into fitness, but as a general rule of thumb:
- Set a schedule and put reminders into a calendar to remind you that this is time to workout
- Join a team – whether through a club or school, which is also a good way to make friends and meet people.
- Take group fitness classes through your school or local gym to be exposed to a wide range of forms of fitness.
In addition, keep in mind the fantastic four – no not the superheroes – being strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance. These four components of fitness can vary and an individual should NOT focus on just one, as illustrated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). From there, focus on staying consistent and connected, because nothing is mastered or achieved in a single day or week. Yes, it can be hard, but when your friends, family, or even complete strangers say those magic words, “looking good” or “oh my goodness, you look great!!!” a few months down the road, you’re going to say to yourself, “worth it.” Dragging friends and family along is a great way to motivate you because you get to smash personal records together. You can race and compete, making exercise that much more fun and less of a chore. Do the research. Fitness is a daunting task and there is a lot out there, so find what works for you and find credible research to back it. Finally:
Keep an eye out for….
Everyone is at a different level within the fitness industry. Olympians and world champions have to work to get where they are – everything takes time. People like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris Bumstead, Tom Brady, Matt Fraser, Simone Biles, and Olympians in weightlifting worked really hard to get where they are now. So do not strive to become them, but better than them in your own way. Again, do your research and figure out what is fact from fiction. There is more than one way to deadlift or dance. One of the biggest things to be aware of is listening to both your body and professionals so you do not hurt yourself.
This post was written by Dalton, an Intern at Immunize Nevada.