Statistics have revealed that one in three Americans is obese. Besides spending a tremendous amount of money on food, obese people are at higher risk of getting sick and dying than their healthy counterparts.
Many people have discovered that exercise has helped them to curb their appetite and lead to a healthier life.
Exercising not only helps one to shed pounds, but it also helps a person to look good.
When you look good, you feel good.
With the rise in demand for people seeking exercise, numerous training platforms have gained prominence. Each one claims to be better than the other.
Although exercise provides numerous benefits, individuals have a specific need for their health and training regimen.
Not everybody wants to look like a bodybuilder or has the time to spend hours in the gym every day. Some people prefer to look slim and don’t like lifting weights.
Since people have become more conscious about their health and sought training help, several forms of training styles have emerged.
Although most of them provide tremendous benefits, they are not a one-size-fits-all offering.
Some of them are counterintuitive to what certain people seek.
To help fitness seekers discover the type of exercise that resonates with their needs, we scrutinized the different workouts. Our research led us to compile information about what the exercise entails, who it benefits, and the cons.
High-Intensity Interval Training
HIIT is one of the best exercises for people who want to shed weight fast. This form of training is highly effective but requires a lot of effort. Best described as a cardio session with short bursts of hard work, HIIT requires one to maximize the intensity of their cardio.
A HIIT set consists of high-intensity exercise that lasts from 20 to 90 seconds and is the opposite of a long run, requiring you to ration your energy to sustain the exercise longer.
Who should do it?
People of all ages who are in good health and do not have an injury or a medical reason to abstain.
Although HIIT is effective, not everybody can handle the intensity.
People who are new to exercise should avoid it and try exercises that require less intensity.
Women who are pregnant or are in their first 3 to 6 months postpartum should not do HIIT. The other group who should avoid HIIT are people who have a heart condition or are immunosuppressed. (1)
HIIT exercises are designed to get a person to work hard so that he or she should have a higher oxygen intake, resulting in higher calorie burn.
Rest periods between sets play a vital role in ensuring that you are exercising HIIT. One needs to take sufficient time to recover to ensure that they are doing the exercise correctly.
The rest periods prep the body and ensure that you can max it out for the next set.
HIIT puts a severe strain on cardiac muscles and can result in sprains if not performed correctly. People who perform HIIT exercises regularly can also experience a tremendous amount of fatigue. (3)
People who want to experience several benefits simultaneously while exercising should opt for strength training. Not only does strength training make you stronger, but it also helps you to reduce body fat, burn calories, and increase lean muscle mass. (4)
It also helps you to develop strong bones, manage your weight, manage chronic conditions, sharpen your thinking skills, and enhance your quality of life.
Strength training helps people of all ages to preserve and enhance muscle mass.
Who should do it?
People who want to preserve their muscles or enhance them. If you don’t have any muscle but want them, strength training should be your first port of call.
Individuals who have a chronic condition or people over the age of 40 who haven’t been recently active should consult a doctor before engaging in the activity. People who smoke or are obese should also consult a doctor before commencing strength training.
You don’t have to bench press to strength train. Heavy gardening such as digging and shoveling also qualify as strength training. Push-ups, hand-stands, and pull-ups are examples of bodyweight exercises.
To optimize strength training, you should choose a weight or a resistance level that is sufficient to strain your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions.
Studies have concluded that three sets of the same exercise, consisting of 12 to 15 repetitions, will help build muscle (5).
Make sure that you give your muscles sufficient time to recover. The recommended resting period is one full day between exercising a specific muscle group. If you experience pain during strength training, consider a lighter weight or resuming in a few days.
The Nutrition and Health of Military Women Subcommittee on Body Composition has warned that gaining muscle mass is associated with stress fractures in women (6).
Muscle pain is common in individuals who aim to build muscle. Exerting the muscles by lifting heavy weights could result in muscle tear and damage to ligaments and tendons.
Building muscle mass can also result in reverse anorexia. A person who suffers from reverse anorexia has a distorted body image, as they feel that their physique is inadequate despite their big muscles.
Otherwise known as aerobic exercise, endurance training involves activities that increase your breathing and heart rate.
One of the key benefits of endurance training is that it keeps your heart, circulatory system and lungs healthy. It also helps to improve your overall fitness. Regular endurance training helps people to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke (7).
Building one’s endurance also helps them to carry out numerous daily activities. The fatigue from endurance training helps one to sleep better at night.
Who should do it?
Anybody who wants to improve their stamina and increase lung capacity should engage in endurance training.
People who want to speed up their metabolism and gain lean muscle mass will find that endurance training is perfect.
Individuals who want to lose weight but don’t want to exert themselves with high-intensity exercises can pace themselves with endurance exercises.
Besides helping you to curb your appetite, increase metabolism and lose weight, endurance exercises also promote a better cognitive function, self-image, a healthier body, more energy, and increased life expectancy.
The best part about endurance exercises is that one doesn’t have to pay for a gym membership or travel to participate. It can be done from the comfort of your home.
Engaging in excessive endurance exercise might help to shed a lot of weight, but it can also deplete muscle stores.
A few examples have also shown that extreme endurance training may cause heart abnormalities. (8)
Knee ligament injuries are common in individuals who engage in endurance training.
If you’re tired of one specific training regimen, then it might be time to spice things up. Training shouldn’t be dull, and cross-training ensures that you get multiple benefits while engaging in several types of training.
Cross-training involves an exercise regimen that consists of several modes of training.
People who want to combine endurance and strength training will benefit the most from cross-training.
The best part about cross-training is that it offers a complete body workout that decreases the risk of injury since you spread the cumulative level of orthopedic stress over additional muscles and joints.
Who should do it?
Individuals who want a complete body workout should try cross-training. As the name suggests, cross-training consists of several modes of exercises. That means people who want to increase their stamina but also improve their muscle mass will find cross-training to be a delight.
Fitness seekers who are tired of only one mode of exercise can alternate their weekly training regimen by doing endurance three days a week and strength exercises for another three days of the week while taking one day off.
If you’re trying to reach a higher level of fitness by using different muscle groups, cross-training is your first choice.
Doing cross-training allows you to vary your schedule. You can swim on Monday, lift weights on Tuesday or you can combine both of those activities into one day and split your hour exercise into weights for the first half hour and the other half-hour to swimming.
Varying your training schedule allows you to give a specific muscle group rest while you train another. Keeping training exciting while getting optimal fitness is one of the key benefits of cross-training.
Considering that cross-training entails you to vary your exercise modes, an individual doesn’t get the optimal training for one specific muscle group.
Instead of bulking your muscles with strength training five days a week, a person also incorporates cardio exercises that create lean muscle. The trainee becomes a jack of all trades but a master of none.
Who would’ve thought that stretching was a form of exercise? This type of stretching doesn’t necessarily mean that you stand up from your chair and put your arms in the air.
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and help your body to be flexible. Although flexibility exercises aren’t aimed to improve your endurance or strength, it will help you to become more flexible and give you freedom of movement for daily activities and other exercises.
Who should do it?
Choosing flexibility training is the choice of many people. Regardless of what age or physical shape you’re in, flexibility training will help you to become fit.
Even people who predominantly do strength training also combine flexibility training.
Anybody who wants to improve their muscle’s elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone will benefit from flexibility training.
One of the major benefits of flexibility exercises is that it enables you to withstand more physical stress. It also helps you to rid your body of muscle imbalances, reducing risk of injury.
Your whole body should feel better after you work on lengthening and opening your muscles. You’ll experience fewer aches when the muscles are looser.
People who have done flexible exercises have improved their body posture and balance. Flexibility exercises help you to have proper alignment and correct imbalances. (9)
A static stretch requires one to stretch a muscle for a period before exercising. Research has determined that a static stretch can cause injury during exercise.
Some researchers have maintained that holding a stretch for longer than thirty seconds does little to prevent soreness. They have also stated that prolonged stretching can cause pain and do not recommend stretching an excessively flexible joint (10).
The other conclusion that some researchers have reached is that flexibility exercises increased the risk of injury.
Physical training has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. The workouts mentioned allow you to schedule exercise without compromising your professional or social life and don’t confine you to train in a specific location.
The different workouts enable you to exert a lot or little effort and enable you to make your training exciting by combining exercises.
Training will make you look and feel good. Don’t use your age or work schedule as an excuse, so get busy training.