The gym is no longer an excuse not to workout. The best part about working out is it isn’t simply a physical pass-time, it also offers countless mental benefits. Working out teaches discipline, determination and perseverance (to name a few) and is continuously rewarding to those who put in the effort. Paired with the versatility of the human body, there are endless different ways to exercise and get the specific results you want.
I know working out can seem overwhelming, especially at the gym, but it doesn't have to. Working out needs to be enjoyable in order to get results. Which is why finding the right exercises is important. Aerobic, strength and flexibility training are three great ways to find exercises that are right for you.
Aerobic, or cardio, exercises focus on improving your breathing and heart rate. By doing cardio, you keep your circulatory system healthy and strengthen your endurance. Building your endurance and improving your blood flow will lead to overall better fitness – which is why cardio is an essential part of any work out plan. Aerobic exercises help train your entire body, inside and out, and help improve both strength and flexibility. The best thing about cardio is it's the easiest to do. Biking, swimming, jogging and even walking are aerobic exercises. Anything that gets your heart rate going can be cardio, just remember to keep it fun.
Strength training is all about building muscle size and obviously, strength. As a personal favourite, strength training is all about progression. Reaching the goals you've set for yourself is an increasingly satisfying feeling. Whether it be full body, or isolated muscle groups, there are many different ways to do strength exercises. Lifting weights is the most common way because free-weights train both strength and balance. But fret not those of you who don't like the gym or have no access to free-weights, there are other ways. Resistance training is growing in popularity, as it causes less stress to ligaments. As well as body-weight exercises, which are a true test of strength.
Flexibility training is on often overlooked aspect of exercise. It focuses on stretching and loosening your muscles. Stretching is so important because it keeps muscles healthy by maintaining their range of motion. If you're doing any sort of cardio or strength training, stretching will help you perform better as well as help you recover faster. There's a reason professional athletes do yoga; it's revitalizing and it works. Whether it be hot, power, or restorative, there is a kind of yoga meant for everyone.
Remember, don't limit yourself to one type of training. You can mix and match any exercise to tailor your work out exactly the way you want. Here are some great workout routines for beginners (no gym required) :
Going to the gym and working out do not have to be synonymous anymore.
Matthew is an Ottawa-based writer with a passion for football that was conceived in 2009, when the New Orleans Saints defied all odds and won their first Super Bowl Championship. He longs to visit Northern Europe to see the aurora borealis. Until then, he reads graphic novels, plays Super Smash Bros., and attempts to stay fit.