Which Types of Exercise Should You Do?

There are a few myths out there about exercise. Do you feel like in order to stay healthy you have to hit the gym every day, or that you must live by the "no pain no gain" rule? Do you feel like if you didn't break a sweat, it wasn't a true workout? Think again!

I come bearing good news! None of those things are necessary! In fact, the amount of exercise required to get and stay healthy might surprise you.

According to Ayurveda, which is the longest running health system of the world, most people should not even do prolonged strenuous exercise. Half the battle of losing weight is taken care of by eating the right foods.

This is why in holistic health it is so important to eat right AND move your body, so the two can work together and you don't find yourself struggling. All you really need are these 3 forms of activity; 

  • Regular Daily Movement
  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Strength Training

Regular Daily Movement

Sitting is one of the worst things you can do. If you are standing or moving around regularly, you are off to a good start!

If you sit at a desk for your job all day long, see if you can get one of those adjustable desks to set your computer on. Or at the very least, stand up and stretch every half hour, or even better, go for a short walk.

Being moderately active for most of your day is easy to do if you aren't a couch potato. But if watching TV is your weakness, consider doing your workout while watching TV. Or have your shows on while you are cooking or doing the dishes.

I make it a point to not sit on my couch until my day is winding down. I even work on my computer standing up. Try to aim for no more than 2 hours a day in a sitting position if you can help it.

Swimming and bicycling are a few of the more fun exercises that are good for your muscles and your heart. Plus being in water or out in nature are pluses! 

One thing I do which helps keep me moving on a regular basis is jumping on a mini-trampoline, otherwise known as a rebounder. You don't even have to jump, you just have to bounce, not even letting your feet off.

What this does is activates every cell in your body. This is the best way to move your stagnant lymph and help your body detox. The lymph system has no pump so it relies on us to get it moving!

Only a few minutes a day can do the job, but I find this so fun I do it for a few hours every day sometimes!

Try to avoid having an erratic workout schedule. Commitment is necessary if you want to get real results from your workout.

Setting a specific time for exercise is the best approach for it to be effective. Try to set a schedule you can stick to. If you commit to three evenings per week, make it happen.

Vary your exercises and workouts. Choose activities you enjoy so you can look forward to having a more active lifestyle rather than just dreading workouts. Listen to music or podcasts so you don't feel like you're JUST exercising. This is something I do and it really helps me work out longer when I lose myself in what I'm listening to.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is anything that gets you breathing and gets your heart rate up. Many activities count as aerobic exercise, and some of them are fun! Take your pick!

  • Walking 
  • Running 
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Jumping Rope
  • Cardio Marchines
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Cross Country Skiiing
  • rebounder/trampoline

This is just a short list to give you some ideas. It's a good idea to do at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Walking is also easy to fit into your day since you can do it almost anywhere, almost anytime, even in short bursts.

Strength Training

Even if you aren't training to be a bodybuilder, it is still important to keep your muscles toned. Muscles also burns more calories than fat. You lose what you don't use, so only 30 minutes 2-3 times a week is all you really need. If you do strength training every day, be sure to work different muscle groups, so everything gets a day to rest. To make things simpler on myself, I do strength training every other day, alternating with aerobic.

You don't have to lift boring weights if you don't want to! Here are a few examples of ways to work your muscles;

  • lifting weights (had to include it!)
  • resistance bands
  • stairclimbing
  • cycling
  • dancing
  • push-ups and sit-ups
  • yoga
  • rebounder/trampoline

Exercises for Your Soul

Since spirituality is a huge aspect of holistic health, I can't leave this category out! What is an exercise for your soul, you ask?

You might be aware that yoga has spiritual benefits as well as physical. QiGong is another activity that falls into this category. QiGong (and it's relative Tai Chi) are movement exercises that stimulate the flow of energy in and around your body. QiGong and yoga combine deep slow breathing with body awareness, leading to spiritual benefits, similar to meditation.

QiGong, Tai Chi and yoga combine deep slow breathing with body awareness, leading to spiritual benefits, similar to meditation.

These have multiple health benefits;

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves balance
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves your immune system
  • Reduces chronic pain

Click here to proceed to the next page about connecting to nature.