Everyone knows that the secret to good health is based on proper diet and exercise. Now, all we have to do is determine exactly what that means for you.
It is no small matter. By now, everybody knows that there is no such thing as a one size fits all diet. Every person is different. No two body chemistries are exactly alike.
General rules break down very quickly for individuals. Some people can’t process dairy. Others have particular vitamin deficiencies. Not everyone can eat meat. A diet that is perfect for one person is dead to another due to certain conditions. You don’t need the perfect diet. You need the perfect diet for you.
The same is true for exercise regimens. Many women benefit from structured programs such as Pure Barre. In a program like this, classes include a full-body workout that includes stretching, isometrics and light weightlifting. Such programs provide the support of knowledgeable instructors and the group motivation of similar people working toward the same goal.
Some people do better with individualized pursuits. They are self-motivated and keep their exercise life private and simple. They would be incapable of maintaining a regular schedule but do the exercises they can during the breaks they have.
Choosing the right exercises largely depends on your goals. Here are the exercises that best fit the most common goals:
Mental and Physical Discipline
Not all exercise is done for physical enhancement. While all exercise has some physical benefit, that is not always the primary goal. Tai Chi and yoga are two that immediately come to mind.
Mental discipline is the key to everything we do. When we feel out of control, it is not a physical description of our experience. Getting a hold of ourselves means taking control of our unproductive mind. Because the mind is the control center of the body, we have to master it. And that is one of the best reasons to exercise.
There is also the matter of physical discipline and mastery. Many people study martial arts as a way of mastering the body, not as a way of learning to fight. If mastering your mind and body is your goal, look into ancient disciplines such as yoga and the martial arts.
The main reason people exercise is to lose weight. Exercise burns calories. And calories burned are not calories stored. In general, the fastest (and perhaps most punishing) way to lose weight is through exercise.
Rather than give you a list of specific exercises, try this general rule: Cardio is a calorie-burning multiplier. Inject intense periods of elevated heart rate into your regular exercise and you will burn more calories.
One example is injecting brief periods of jogging into your walk. Don’t just walk for a mile. Jog for 30 seconds for every five minutes of walking. The key is to get you huffing and puffing.
If the exercise does not get you breathing hard, it is not enough to trigger sufficient weight loss. It may benefit you in other ways. But if you want to lose weight, you are going to have to sweat and elevate that heart rate.
When you suffer an injury, there is a good chance that the doctor will put you on physical therapy to help you heal. That is because even an injured limb needs exercise. After major knee or hip surgery, one does not simply recover by relaxing and taking it easy. Recovery is hard work. And most of that work comes in the form of exercise.
Physical therapy is painful and dangerous when not done under the care of a trained therapist. They are medical professionals in their own rights. And they are in close communication with your doctor. So they know exactly what your situation is, what the doctor wants you to do, and how best to help you achieve it in a timely and safe manner.
If your doctor does not prescribe physical therapy for your injury, they will likely give you simple instructions about the type of activities you should do versus the ones you should avoid. Proper exercise is one of the oldest and most basic catalysts for healing there is.
For mental and physical mastery, try yoga and the martial arts. For weight loss, cardio is king. And for recovery, don’t skip those physical therapy appointments.