Exercises that help build strength and flexibility aren’t just for athletes. They can be an essential component of your everyday fitness routine and will come in handy as you get older. Improvements to muscle strength can result in faster healing, increased athletic performance, and a better quality of life.
While many people exercise to lose weight and improve their appearance, studies have shown that strength-building exercises help lower cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, and control blood sugar. And there’s no shortage of ways to achieve these results. By following a balanced diet and enrolling in a clinical Pilates class, you can enjoy all the benefits of a stronger and more flexible body.
But with so many diets and exercises to follow, it’s easy to get lost in the mix, especially if you’re new to fitness.
1. Work with a trainer
If you don’t know where to begin, a certified personal trainer can give you the guidance and structure that you desperately need. That way, you can focus on doing the exercises and you’ll have someone to correct your form and coach you along. The last thing you need is an injury just because you didn’t stretch the right way.
You might need to consult with a doctor first, especially if you’re struggling with a health issue or recovering from a recent injury. Finally, ask your trainer to adjust your program around your health problems.
2. Vary your program
When people perform strength-building exercises, they usually go for weight machines and free weights. But if weights aren’t your thing, one great way to build strength and flexibility is to use resistance bands.
Weight exercises offer a limited array of movements and often pose an injury risk to people with mobility limitations. On the other hand, latex bands provide strength-building resistance that can be used in a wide variety of exercises and positions.
3. Get enough sleep
Muscles need a lot of maintenance and downtime to recover from regular exercise. For instance, most trainers recommend alternating between muscle regions to minimize injuries. If you worked on your legs today, then you shouldn’t do leg exercises tomorrow.
The best way to rest your muscles is to get enough sleep. During sleep, your body repairs your muscle tissue and restores your depleted energy reserves. Exercising without enough rest can lead to muscle breakdown and even injuries.
4. Adjust your lifestyle
Muscle building doesn’t only happen within the confines of the gym. If you look hard enough, you’ll find that your daily activities can also help build your strength and flexibility.
Every time you find yourself having to choose between something more strenuous or convenient, always go for the one that you think will provide more benefits to your body. For instance, using the stairs instead of the elevator helps build leg and hip muscles, while lifting heavy objects activates your arm region.
Always remember that every person has different strength requirements, so avoid comparing yourself to people who have been working on their bodies for a long time. Just focus on your fitness routine and don’t attempt exercises that you know are beyond your skill level.