Benefits of Combining Various Exercises
If you’re looking to start an exercise program, you probably have a lot of questions. For example, what exercise or exercises should you do. Well, to answer such questions, we have to look at the purpose of exercise.
Falling Into the Single Exercise Trap:
For most people, the purpose of exercise is to get their body in shape. For some that means simply gaining muscle mass or improving endurance levels. For others, though, it could mean trying to lose a fair amount of weight. For almost everyone, though, the goal is to get their whole body looking and feeling healthier. It would make sense, then, that you should exercise your entire body, if you want your entire body to be healthier.
Many people fall into the single exercise trap. For example, they want to get “in shape”, so they decide to walk every day. Walking is wonderful exercise, but it mainly exercises the legs, not the entire body. Single exercises like that can cause two big problems.
Problem One – Joint and Muscle Stress:
When you focus too much on exercising specific muscles or joints, you put them under unnecessary stress and, as a result, leave yourself open to the potential for more injuries. Joints can become swollen and painful. They can also stiffen up quite a bit.
The result can be a dull ache that lasts for days, bruising or even a short, sharp, stabbing pain when you put any weight on a certain spot, like the knee joint, for example. In fact, in many cases, the knees can dislocate entirely. That’s extremely painful and can take months to recover from.
As far as muscle stress goes, there are major issues with that, too. You can easily tear muscles and ligaments, if you over work them. That can take anywhere from weeks to months to heal, depending on the severity of the problem. So, your exercise plan will be completely disrupted.
Problem Two – Strength Loss:
Problem two is loss of strength in the muscles you don’t exercise. If you walk or jog every day, for example, you’ll have strong leg muscles. Your neglected arm muscles, however, will deteriorate. Then, you’ll find yourself unable to do even the simplest of tasks without becoming tired or achy. That’s certainly not a good way to get in shape.
Mental Benefits of Combining Different Exercises:
The physical benefits of combining different exercises is clear, based on the facts above. There’s also a mental benefit to combining different exercises, though. People tend to get mentally bored with the same thing over and over again. Exercise routines are difficult to stick to under the best circumstances. You’ll never succeed at them if they’re boring.
By combining different exercises, you’ll be keeping your routines interesting. Remember, though, adding one or more exercises doesn’t necessarily mean lack of boredom. For example, if you walk one day a week and bike ride another and do that every week it can still turn into a boring routine. You have to do enough different exercises each week to both exercise all of your muscles and keep yourself entertained.
Another good way to keep exercise routines always changing and stay interested is to do them with a buddy or a group of buddies. Exercising with friends and changing the routine occasionally should help you to keep your motivation. That will move you one step closer to your goal of getting fit.
Another common question that people ask is how often should one exercise. Well, partially that depends on how fit you are to begin with. It’s always a good idea to slowly work your way into an exercise routine. Biting off more than you can chew in the exercise department will only lead to injuries.
Ideally, you should eventually exercise about three days per week. You should do different types of exercises on each of those three days. You also should be sure to spread those days out. Although many people exercise only on weekends, it’s not a good idea.
Weekend Warrior Problems:
People who exercise only on weekends are commonly called weekend warriors and they have two big problems. The first is that the body needs time to recover from workouts. It’s during rest periods that the body forms new muscle mass and repairs small muscle tears that occurs naturally during workouts. Without those resting periods, people will quickly reach a plateau point where they can no longer lose weight or gain muscle. Exercising too much too close together can also cause general tiredness and higher risks of injuries.
The other problem that weekend warriors or other people who exercise too much too close together can have is that progress is undone. The body needs rest periods, but it doesn’t need week-long vacations. Being sedentary all week can cause you to lose muscle mass and gain fat. That reverses most, if not all, of the good you might do on the weekends.
The bottom line here is that, like most things in life, exercises should be done in moderation. You need to exercise all of your muscles, but not all at once. Make sure that you vary your workout routines and give yourself time to rest between them. That’s the best way to optimize your results and reduce your risks of exercise-related injuries.
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