Types of Exercise for a Balanced Life

When you think of exercise, we all imagine something different, because we are all different! You may imagine strenuous activities such as sprinting or weights — the ones that make you breathe hard, turn flush and drip with sweat. Or maybe you think of jogging or yoga. There is not only one type of exercise, and it is critical for boosting fitness to include multiple types of exercise so you healthy doesn’t become one dimensional. There are actually 4 types of exercise that are important for everyone to include: aerobic training, strength training, balance training, and flexibility training.
4 exercises image
Each type of exercise is important in its own way, and doing all four types is the way to maximize your fitness and prevent injury. But maybe people think they know what they are, some may even have not heard of the term aerobic. Here is a brief overview of what these are and their benefits to them.

 

Aerobic exercises; such as running, swimming or dancing, are activities that work your cardiovascular system — they get your heart rate up and make you breathe harder. Aerobic literally means “relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. This type of exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, and may even lower the risk of cancer

 

Strength exercises; such as weight lifting, push-ups and crunches, work your muscles by using resistance (like a dumbbell or your own body weight). This type of exercise increases lean muscle mass, which is particularly important for weight loss, because lean muscle burns more calories than other types of tissue. Whether you’re 100 lbs overweight or just need to lose the last 15, strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and build muscle.

 

Balance exercises improve your ability to control and stabilize your body’s position. This type of exercise is particularly important for older adults, because balance gets worse with age. But balance exercises can be beneficial for everyone, including people who have gained or lost a lot of weight or those who become pregnant, which can throw off your center of gravity. These exercises are also important for reducing injury risk. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you could be at risk for reinjury if you don’t retrain your balance.

 

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and may improve your range of motion at your joints. They can improve your flexibility, and reduce your risk of injury during sports and other activities. There are two types of flexibility exercises: static stretching, in which you stretch a muscle without moving, and dynamic stretching, which combines stretching with movements. So the biggest benefits from stretching is improved flexibility, reduce of injury, and reduced lactic acid in the muscles.

 

Ideally, you should include all four types of exercise in your workouts. But that doesn’t mean you have to do four separate workouts. You use some exercises together, like strength and balance training. For example, when you squat, you do strength as well as balance. Some workouts, such as yoga, incorporate strength, flexibility and balance exercises. It does depend on age and goals of the individual, but you should really try to do all four types of exercise in a training session.

 

*Always Proud, but Never Satisfied*

 

~Luke

 

 

For more on these types of exercises, check out these links:

 

Aerobic: https://www.livescience.com/55320-aerobic-exercise.html

 

Strength: https://www.livescience.com/55324-strength-exercise.html

 

Balance: https://www.livescience.com/55321-balance-exercise.html

 

Flexibility: https://www.livescience.com/55325-flexibility-exercise.html

 

 

It’s All About A Happy Medium

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As a college student, the summer time usually means meeting up with old friends, spending time with the family, or vacation adventures. Although these are all the perks of summer, these couple months off of school also usually mean saving up money by working as much as humanly possible. College is undeniably one of the first places young adults learn how fast money really goes. As important as it is to save money, it is equally as important to find that happy medium between work and leisure.

 

Let’s take a step back into the past, right around the beginning of May; You just finished up that stressful week of finals and cannot wait to head home for the summer. After that first weekend home, you start working every day and the thought of school has become extinct in your brain. Before you know it, it will be the end of August and you will be repacking up your things to take on this next semester of homework, quizzes, and finals. That being said, it is important to take some time this summer for yourself to help rebuild that mental fortitude you will need to finally get that 4.0 in the fall.

 

At this point, I know exactly what you’re thinking, “I want to have fun this summer but I’m trying to save money for school.” Although it may seem that way, enjoying this summer doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are so many options for activities this summer that are either very cheap, or even FREE. Yes, free. Who ever said we’re too old to go to a local park and play catch or soccer with some friends? Or what about catching some rays at the closest beach? There are endless options for you to take advantage of this summer to relax your mind.

 

Many people neglect the mental health part of your overall health. Keeping your mind strong will help you see improvement in almost every other thing you do. In order to do that this summer, it is important to take that step back from everything you have going on and just devote some time for yourself in something you love to do.

 

|Don’t forget about the little things in life. They tend to have a BIG impact|

 

-Tyler Kloss

Functional Fitness For the Win

Functional Fitness For the Win Blog MediaYou killed your workout yesterday at the gym hitting your personal record of bench press and pulling more then your own weight in a seated row. Today, you went to help a buddy move his 70 pound couch only to throw your back out with excruciating pain. What happened? In all likelihood you’re not training your body for function fitness and everyday life. You may be fit, toned, tight and ready to hit the beach, but are you ready to lift all your bags of groceries up the stairs to your third floor apartment?

Functional Fitness is among one of the latest buzzwords heard in gym and fitness facilities worldwide these days and rightfully so. Changing the focus from having “the biggest biceps” to training for real life scenarios is the latest craze. But what exactly is functional fitness, why should one utilize functional training, and how can one incorporate it into a workout?

 

Functional Fitness 411

Functional Fitness means the goal of working out is to prepare your body for everyday activities such as walking, bending, lifting and climbing stairs safety and efficiently. Functional fitness training goes beyond a goal of being able to bench press 250 pounds, but rather, trains your body for everyday life instead of specific events.  This approach combines movements as varied from yoga, Pilates, and physical therapy and builds upon them to create a full body workout that causes different muscle groups to work together. Convectional weight training isolates specific muscle groups to help strengthen them, but fails to teach muscles to work together with others as they would in everyday tasks.  Using various muscles in the upper and lower body simultaneously, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.

Why Functional Fitness?

As discussed earlier, functional training helps make everyday activities easier, reducing your risk of injury and improving your overall quality of life. Functional exercises tend to be multijoint and multimucsle exercises. Instead of only using the biceps, a functional movement might utilize the biceps along with the quadriceps, hamstrings and core. These types of movements work more muscles in a shorter amount of time allowing you to get in and out of the gym faster. Functional training programs allow you to get the same amount of work throughout your body in half the time of a convectional hour-long weight training session. In addition, functional exercises can help to improve balance, agility, and muscle strength.

Functional Fitness Exercises

Multifaceted physical movements found in activities such as kickboxing and Pilates involve varying combinations of resistance and flexibility training that can help build functional fitness. Many people, including myself, get overwhelmed when they think of functional fitness movements. 10-foot rope climbs or 200-pound box pushes pop into their head. The good news is, functional training doesn’t have to be scary or intense, you just simply need to incorporate more then one-muscle group. An easy way to think of function fitness is ways to mimic everyday movements such as picking up large bags of groceries, climbing stairs or taking a child out of a car seat. You can mimic these actions through basic exercise movements such as squats or steps ups and then add resistance or rotation to incorporate more muscle groups.  Some examples of specific functional fitness moves that use multiple joints and muscles include:

 

-Multidirectional Lunges

-Squat to shoulder press

-Step-ups with weights

-Plank with dumbbell Row

-Turkish Get-Ups

 

Click here for more awesome functional fitness moves from ACE certified professionals.

 

As you add more functional fitness exercise into your workout, you should quickly see improvements in your ability to perform everyday activities.  All of the improvements will show quite the return in your exercise investment!

 

~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.~

 

-Hannah Anderson

Paddle board, anyone?

Paddle Board PhotoBy: Mary Marren

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out with my friend when she mentioned that she recently started paddle boarding. It was always something that I wanted to try so I asked her if I could come with to her class. When we found out a spot opened up to join the class we headed right over to the beach.

As a newbie I was glad to be with an instructor for my first time going out on the water. We got our boards, and we were off! Immediately I realized that standing on a paddle board, in a lake with boats all around, is not the easiest task. My balance started to kick in and all I could focus on was not falling! When we started paddling out to the lake it was easier to fall into a rhythm with the waves.

At the time it seemed like a relaxing ride with some good company, but later I realized that it was also a great workout! Paddle boarding challenges your balance, your core, and your arms. With all of that being said, I was instantly hooked.

Since I found paddle boarding to be an enjoyable workout I wanted to kick it up to the next gear. The next day I took a yoga paddle boarding class. This is a yoga class that is done out on the water on your paddle board. The intensity started to kick in right away when we started doing the yoga poses.  Every muscle that was being worked in my body from paddle boarding instantly kicked into over drive. It was awesome.

Paddle boarding may seem out of reach here in Whitewater, but the place where I go is right in Lake Geneva which is only 30 minutes away. If you are looking for some adventure I’d would highly recommend the adventure club at Clear Water Outdoors in Lake Geneva.  They give you all the equipment needed, take you to the lake, and the classes are a group setting rather than going alone.

Paddle boarding not your thing? They also offer kayaking, rock climbing, and cross country skiing in the winter. Obviously this is not an everyday thing, but if you are looking for some extra adventure in your life to accompany your everyday workout, I would highly recommend it.

Feel free to check out their website!
http://www.clearwateroutdoor.com/cwo-Instruction.aspx

Stay Healthy Stay Strong,
Mary Marren