Exercise is an important part of overall physical and mental health. Most people know this—but don’t know where to get started. Here are the top five exercise questions to ask when you’re considering adding or changing your routine:
- Why is Regular Exercise Important to a Person’s Health?
- What is the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity For Adults?
- Opportunities to Improve Your Fitness Level
- Which Exercise Uses the Most Muscles?
- What Exercises Burn the Most Calories?
- How Much Exercise Per Week is Recommended?
1. Why is Regular Exercise Important to a Person’s Health?
Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and will improve your mood and appearance. Exercise also protects against a host of health conditions like strokes, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer.
Beyond mere health, regular exercise makes sexual activity more enjoyable. It boosts your performance, making you a better intimate partner. Your exercise routine can also help anchor your schedule and help you stay organized. If you start your day with a workout, you will be more likely to be on time and more agreeable to your coworkers. People in good physical shape have demonstrated improvements in self-image and confidence levels.
Many forms of exercise are also social events. Community soccer, basketball, or ultimate frisbee teams are quite popular ways to socialize with friends and the community. Dancing is another great way to add romance to your life and stay healthy at the same time. Dance clubs can help you meet new people or deepen an existing relationship.
2. What is the Recommended Amount of Physical Activity For Adults?
Everybody is different, but everybody needs exercise! Your ideal level of activity depends upon your goals. Are you looking to reduce your body fat and lose weight? You’ll need to put in more time than someone who wants to maintain. Among the top exercise questions people ask is, “Do you want to add muscle mass?” For muscle, the type of exercise is more important than the activity level. Harvard University has a cardiometabolic point system. This helps you to find out how much exercise you are already getting and how much you should add to meet your goals.
People who lead a very active lifestyle need less formal exercise. By contrast, those people who lead more sedentary lives should take the time to formally schedule their exercise. Sitting is the new smoking. Therefore, this applies to people who have desk jobs or spend a lot of time on a couch or in front of a computer.
3. Opportunities to Improve Your Fitness Level
Many people don’t realize the many opportunities they have to boost their fitness level. Parking at the back of parking lots, taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator, and biking to work are some commonly overlooked ways to stay in shape.
But people who get regular exercise as a part of their job or lead an otherwise active lifestyle should still get formal exercise. This may seem counter-intuitive. However, people who are active in their jobs or duties often follow repetitive patterns. In turn, they neglect some muscle groups while over overemphasizing others. For these people, it is important to tailor your routine to compensate for what is lacking in your regular activities. Active people have just as much, if not more need to exercise than those living a sedentary lifestyle.
People who work in jobs with high levels of physical activity need supplemental exercises to balance their muscle groups. Construction workers don’t get much aerobic exercise, and they are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries, including back injuries. As a result, they benefit from exercises targeted on the less-developed muscle groups.
Whatever your lifestyle, your exercise routine should be optimized. Shape it to give you the biggest gains in your weakest areas to maintain ideal health.
4. Which Exercise Uses the Most Muscles?
When looking for the most effective exercise, you will find many different opinions and strenuous debate. Common answers to this question include the clean & press, the deadlift and various kettlebell exercises. Others suggest the squat, performed with free weights or on a squat-assist machine, involves the most muscles. But for those who don’t want to use weights but still want to work as many muscles as possible, there is the burpee.
People also ask a lot of exercise questions about oddly-named movements like the burpee. It is similar to a squat and a pushup combined with a jump at the end. Because of these elements, it is highly aerobic while simultaneously using almost every muscle in the body. Most people can do burpees, but the burpee is such a good exercise that it is included in many military, police, and emergency services training programs. If you do burpees you will find an exercise that can rapidly exhaust you without risking an unbalanced workout.
Ideally, you will build a workout that includes a lot of variety. You should consider different exercises that change based on season and interest. But if you are looking for a single exercise that will produce maximum results, the burpee is for you. Beware, explosive movements, when done wrong, can lead to injury.
5. What Exercises Burn the Most Calories?
Your burn rate is a function of the amount of work done and the time it takes to do it. This is influenced by a number of other factors, the most important of which is oxygen.
Many exercises have the potential to maximize your burn. Among them, running, bicycling, and swim sprints are the most common ways to maximize your burn the fastest. But if you are not in good condition, sprints will either hurt you or burn you out so fast you may lose your interest in exercising entirely.
If you want to burn the most calories in the shortest time, start slow and ramp up over time. If you try to do too much too fast you risk injury or burnout. Once you have a regular exercise routine and your conditioning improvement has leveled off, then you are in an ideal position to maximize your burn. If that’s not enough, then consider some dietary changes, and count your calories and macronutrients.
6. How Much Exercise Per Week is Recommended?
Like every other question on this list, there is no global correct answer for everyone. As a general rule, most adults should exercise between 150 and 300 minutes per week. If you do not think you fit into the normal population, or if you think you are exercising too much, please consult your doctor or a professional trainer so you can adjust your routine appropriately. While there is such a thing as too much exercise, very few people reach such levels.
Ask More Exercise Questions
In today’s fast-paced world, everybody should think a little more about exercise. If your routine isn’t helping you meet your goals, then these five questions may help you get started in the right direction. If they aren’t enough, then keep asking exercise questions to learn and grow.