Which Exercise is Best for Me?
Written by Dr. Lucas Szczepanik B.Sc., D.C.
A common question that arises with exercise is “which exercise is the best for my body?”. There was a time when weight training was considered the standard for improving physical fitness. As with the trend of “jogging” in the 70’s, the 2000’s have introduced us to body/mind exercises such as Pilates and yoga. This can be confusing to people as to which one is the best choice for them. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to exercise. Every form can be beneficial to the body, but the first question you should ask yourself is “what are my goals?” and “do I have any health concerns that may or may not interfere with these goals?”.
Weight training is an excellent way to build muscle and gain physical mass. One of the major challenges as we age is to retain gross muscle mass. Many people that have physically enduring jobs need to maintain muscle mass in order to do their job efficiently. Weight training would be ideal for men trying to get in shape for those summer days at the beach. Light weight training would also be necessary for an osteoporotic woman trying to maintain bone mass.
Pilates and yoga are based on improving body strength, flexibility, endurance, through controlled postures and breathing techniques. These exercises help ensure the core of the body is strong, helping to reduce the risk of back pain as well as improving the ability to cope with emotional and mental stress. Someone with recurring low back pain or degenerative spine conditions would need to consider strengthening their spine through exercises commonly used in Pilates and yoga.
Cardiovascular workouts such as treadmills, elliptical machines, jogging, and bike riding are designed to get the blood in your body circulating at a more efficient rate. They also improve the efficiency of oxygen being delivered to the tissues of your body. If your goal is to reduce blood pressure and stress, or simply to improve the health of your heart and lungs, then a cardiovascular workout is a good option.
No matter which category you fit into it is always best to approach working out with knowledge and proper technique. You also want to remember to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Seek out the advice of your chiropractor on which types of exercise would best fit your needs. You may discover that keeping on an exercise routine is easier than you think.