In order to keep fit, sometimes it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money and swing to a sweat. Scientists from Harvard Medical School have identified five activities to benefit physical and mental health.
If a person is not an athlete and does not play sports seriously, but simply wants to practice – for example, to feel better or look good in new jeans – the thought of the gym can scare him. What exercises to do? Where to find the time? One raid on treadmills, power and exercise bikes may be enough to immediately pulled home on the couch.
But some very useful physical exercises do not at all require strong muscles of the marathon runner and regular visits to the gym. Nevertheless, according to experts, these workouts can work wonders and contribute to healing.
They help control weight, improve balance and range of motion, strengthen bones, protect joints, prevent problems with bladder control and even memory loss. These exercises are quite simple and affordable, regardless of age or level of physical fitness, and will help to take shape and reduce the risk of various diseases.
We can say that this is a perfect activity. The density of water supports the body and relieves tension and pain from the joints, which makes it possible to move more smoothly. “Swimming is good for people with arthritis because the weight in the water is much less,” explains Dr. Ai-Min Lee, a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Research has shown that swimming can also improve mental health and mood. Another option for exercising in water is aqua aerobics, which helps burn calories and increase tone.
This Chinese martial art, combining movement and relaxation, is useful for both the body and the mind. This is actually called “meditation in motion.” Taichi consists of a series of graceful movements, seamlessly turning into one another. Since classes are held at different levels, this gymnastics is accessible and useful for people of all ages and levels of training.
“This activity is especially good for older people, because an important component here is balance, and it is with age that we lose it,” says Dr. Lee. A trial lesson will help you get started and get an idea of taichi. As a rule, in large cities and sports centers, masters conduct such training.
3. Strength training
Many people believe that strength training is for muscular machos. However, it may be worth changing your mind. Light weight lifting will not lead to an increase in muscles, but will maintain their performance. “If you don’t use the muscles, they will lose strength over time,” says Dr. Lee.
“The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to maintain weight,” says Dr. Lee. Like other exercises, strength training can also help maintain normal brain function for years to come. Before starting the strength training program, you should definitely study all the necessary information.
It is recommended to start with light weight, which a person can effortlessly lift 10 times. After a couple of weeks, the weight is increased. In order for classes to benefit, rather than harm, it is important to get competent advice and get to business, without going to extremes. The best thing is to do it under the supervision of a professional.
Walking is a simple but powerful workout. It can help not only stay in shape, but also increase cholesterol, strengthen bones, control blood pressure, raise your mood and lower the risk of developing a number of diseases – for example, diabetes and heart diseases.
A number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and withstand its age-related loss. All that is needed is well-fitting and supportive shoes. You can start with a walk from about 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Over time, it will turn out to go further and faster and bring the training to a duration of 30-60 minutes almost every day.
5. Kegel exercises
These exercises will not help you look better, but they do something no less important – they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles can significantly prevent urinary incontinence, which can occur in almost any person with age.
Although many women are familiar with Kegel, these exercises are also useful for men. To properly perform the exercise, you need to compress the muscles that are used to prevent the passage of urine or gas. The contraction is delayed for two or three seconds, then released. Be sure to completely relax the muscles of the pelvic floor after contraction. This cycle of action is repeated 10 times, if possible four to five approaches per day.
Much of what people do in their daily lives for fun and work can be considered exercises. Walking in the park, ballroom dancing, playing with pets, children or grandchildren are varieties of physical activity. According to doctors, if you devote at least 30 minutes a day to aerobic exercise and devote two days a week to strength training, you can consider yourself an active person.