Every year we make the same resolution, to get in better shape. To join a gym and exercise every day. Until we don’t.
It might be that you just haven’t found the right exercise for your body. Each person has their own basic nature, and it determines their physical condition according to an ancient holistic healing system called Ayurveda. What that means is that not every body wants the same kind of exercise.
Here are seven different types of exercise, and what they can do for you. Some of them are perfect for those who like to “feel the burn.” Others might want an exercise that is a bit less sweaty, or their body simply can’t take the kind of exercise that demands going “way beyond their limits.”
This stationary biking program was developed by Johnny Goldberg, also known as Johnny G, an endurance bicycle racer in the 1980s. He was training one night and got hit by a car; this was his answer to the question of how to train safely day or night, rain or shine. It has since turned into a form of exercise focused on strength, endurance, and coordination done to a driving musical beat.
Former 70s gymnast Greg Glassman is the originator of what is now called CrossFit. Apparently, ring gymnasts must press through overwhelming exhaustion to reach a joyous sense of nirvana before dismounting, and he was looking for a form of exercise to give him that same zing. But before you get there, your muscles will come to feel like jelly and you want to … just don’t do it on a full stomach. CrossFit blends speed, squatting, weight lifting, pull-ups, and gymnastics. It works all the muscles, and ones you didn’t know you had.
It was started as a way to train for combat back in Ancient Egypt, about 3,000 BC. Then there were the boxing tournaments that were part of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Rome turned it into a Gladiator challenge that ended in death. Luckily, that whole bit about Rome falling brought death by boxing to an end. They almost killed it off (pun intended). Then, in 17th century England it became an amateur activity. It has grown in interest ever since, turning into what it is today — cool. Just look at all those Rocky movies to see what the workout can be like. However, you won’t be pulling any cars or running in sub-zero weather. Boxing for exercise is exhausting. It includes free weights, jumping, and circuit routines that create lean muscle mass.
Places to box: 9 Round Murfreesboro
If you think boxing goes back in time, it ain’t nothing compared to yoga. Yoga is more than 5,000 years old. It was developed by Hindu holy men as a way to balance the mind, body, and spirit. While some forms look like you are just sitting there, that sitting has kicked some serious athlete’s butts. Luckily, there are many different forms. For those who love to get all warm and sweaty, there is Hot Yoga (AKA Bikram). The heat keeps your muscles warm as you go through a series of flowing hatha postures. For those who want to gain balance, muscle development, and a sense of inner peace, there is Iyengar. It has to do with holding poses for long periods of time, stretching, and acting like a tree. All forms tone, center, and make you generally healthier. Poses can be modified for those who are not as flexible or as young as they used to be. There is also gentle yoga. Know what kind of yoga the studio does before you go. Make sure to get a well- trained yogi, you can hurt yourself if you do it wrong.
Swimming probably happened the first time that a caveman fell in the river trying to catch a fish for food. As organized recreation, swimming didn’t get notice until 1836. Not that long ago. But, like yoga, swimming is great for a wide range of ages and body types because it is low-impact. Your body’s resistance to the water makes it a workout. Swimming keeps up your heart rate, tones muscle, builds strength and endurance, and improves coordination and balance. And like yoga, it reduces stress.
Joseph Pilates created this form of exercise after battling many childhood illnesses. Born in Monchengladbach Germany in the late 19th century, he developed an exercise system using many of the mind, body, and spirit alignment ideas found in yoga. The difference was that his movements employed a series of “machines” he developed while interned as an “enemy alien” in England during World War I. By rigging springs to hospital beds, he enabling bedridden fellow internees to exercise against resistance – an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. After the war, his exercise method gained favor in the dance community because they discovered it minimized damage to muscles, bones, and ligaments that happen due to the demands of the art. In the United States, George Balanchine, the great choreographer, had his dancers train with him. It has been gaining in popularity ever since. Like yoga, it improves flexibility, builds strength (especially core muscles), betters posture, improves balance, enhances muscle control and coordination, relaxes the shoulders and neck, and aids in prevention of musculoskeletal injuries, improves concentration, and releases stress.
Injury and illness have been the inspiration for many of the biggest forms of exercise these days. Barre is no different. Lotte Berk, a German born modern dancer in London, was injured in 1959 and came up with the idea of blending her dance exercises with her therapy exercises. Then she added in a bit of her own sense of fun and snark. She started teaching her own method in a New York studio in the 1970s. The goal is to build your core muscles using pulsing movements. Some movements are done with the use of resistance bands. There is even one story on the Internet that it helps a woman’s sex life, who knows? If you have ever taken a ballet class, you know there is SOME BURN.
This is far from an extensive list, I’ll admit. These are just a few of the more popular forms of exercise in recent years, and some that have been around a long time because they work. There is still running, wall climbing, and good old-fashioned walking. Hope this helps you find something that works for you, your body, and your constitution.
Have a healthy New Year!