Exercise is a powerful tool that can be used to increase the quality of life for everyone. I’m not just talking about athletes either, I’m talking about everyone from children to the elderly and everyone in between. The benefits of exercise are enormous and can improve the obvious things we hear about everyday such as cardiovascular fitness, strength, endurance, speed and body composition. It can also help in ways we hear of less such as decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease later in life as well as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancers and other chronic illnesses.

What is the best exercise for you? In my experience as a trainer I have seen many people start exercise programs with the best of intentions, but if they’re not enjoying their exercise they generally won’t stick to it for very long. The best way to create lifelong healthy habits with exercise is to find something achievable that you enjoy and do a little of it every day.

Cardiovascular exercises such as running, walking and cycling are great for improving heart health, increasing overall fitness, confidence and in a group environment can even improve social skills and decrease the risk of depression.
Strength exercises are great for building muscle and increasing bone strength. This is important for all age groups as for younger people it can increase metabolism, strength, posture performance and even help you sleep better. In older people muscle mass declines as we age, strength training helps reverse that process by increasing the muscle mass and bone strength. As we age this can decrease the risk of osteoporosis, falls and breaks.

If you are unsure on which exercises you should be doing the best thing to do would be to contact a local and experienced trainer to help get you started on your goals to build healthy habits for the rest of your life. If you haven’t exercised much in the past start with something low impact such as walking or cycling and build up from there. Even something as basic as taking the dog to the park with a friend or loved one once every few days can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health.

Find something you enjoy and you exercise will become a habit you are happy to do daily.

Jenny McPhail
Kickstart Fitness and Health


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