Five exercises that keep you coming back
Posted on 28 April 2017
Any exercise is better than no exercise, says a biokineticist. But by spending only 22 minutes a day on exercise, you can transform your health – and it needn’t be a chore or cost you anything.
‘Any moderate exercise is better than no exercise,’ says Carlo Jacobs, a Cape Town-based biokineticist and expert in healthy living. ‘Exercise is defined as any activity over and above your daily activities, and which raises your heart rate and core temperature.’
Best low impact exercises
Carlo breaks down the following basic activities as best for anyone who’s looking to improve their health and fitness, and maintain an optimum body mass.
Walking: ‘A great activity for both beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts. Walking is weight-bearing exercise, but low impact at the same time. You can get in great shape simply by walking every day, and it’s an ideal gateway activity for more strenuous forms of exercise such as running.’
Swimming: ‘Possibly the best all-round form of exercise. Swimming entails zero impact, all the while working the cardiovascular system. The only downside is that one requires access to a pool, together with the fact that not everyone knows how to swim.’
Cycling: ‘Another great non-impact activity. Stationary cycling at home or in a gym also allows for multi-tasking and socialising while getting in a great workout.’
Cross-training: ‘A more advanced workout that should only be attempted once you have a solid base level of fitness. The cross-trainer, also known as elliptical trainer, is an apparatus that exercises the whole body.’
Rowing: ‘The final piece of the puzzle, and one that takes quite a bit of getting used to. A more functional form of exercise, rowing is an activity that should be included twice weekly and combines core strengthening with a more intense cardiovascular workout.’
‘Low-intensity exercise means lower impact on the joints,’ says Carlo. ‘Fitness gains are made through steady progression, and this applies to the actual activity too.’
When to train?
‘I recommend that people try to schedule their exercise first thing in the morning,’ Carlo advises. ‘This reduces procrastination and means you start the day empowered, in both a physical and mental sense.’
How long to train for
Busy people tend to benefit from a baseline of 150 minutes of weekly exercise, says Carlo. Breaking that up into a seven-day exercise programme equates to a daily commitment of only 22 minutes.