Top 5 Ways to Exercise

The fitness world can be a bit confusing for a beginner. What's the best way to exercise? The truth is that any form of exercise will yield important health benefits including: lower blood pressure/cholesterol, weight loss and increased muscle mass. Here are some of the best ways to exercise.

1. Cardiovascular Exercise. Cardio is any type of exercise that gets your heart beating fast for an extended period of time. Cardio is good for burning a large amount of calories which can be useful for losing weight/burning fat. Cardio should be done 3-5 times per week and last 30-60 minutes per session. Good examples of cardio include: running, biking, swimming and playing most sports.

2. Strength Training. Strength training uses resistance to place a load on the muscle. This causes it to grow in size and strength over time. Resistance comes in many forms including free weights, bands, machines or even body weight. Strength training should be done 2-4 times per week with a routine that targets all the major muscle groups. Building muscle is usually associated with men trying to gain weight however, it should be a top priority for everyone. You don't have to be a bodybuilder to gain muscle. Gaining muscle will help you burn more calories throughout the day, helping you to increase your calorie deficit and lose more weight.

3. Group Exercise Classes. If you like going to the gym but hate doing the same workout day after day, consider taking a group exercise class. Most gyms offer a very wide variety of classes including yoga, circuit training, dancing and pilates. These classes are a great way to meet new people and introduce variety and fun into your exercise routine.

4. Sports. If you want to get out of the gym once in awhile, consider taking up a sport. Most sports will get you into shape quickly. Tennis, basketball, soccer and football will all give you a great workout.

5. Physical Work. Working out doesn't always have to be in the form of exercise. Labor intensive tasks such as washing your car, doing housework or working in the garden can also count as physical activity.

The Bottom Line

One of the most important factors to consider when trying to find the best way to exercise is to pick an activity that you enjoy doing. Enjoying your workout will help you exercise for a much longer period of time and at a higher intensity. You don't always realize how hard you're working when you're having fun.