There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercising. That’s because everyone has different fitness levels, and every exercise has its pros and cons. Here are four great exercises you should be including in every workout. They come from the leading fitness experts at the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada:
- First up: The burpee. That’s when you drop to a squat with your hands on the ground, kick your legs back so you’re in pushup position, and then jump back into a squat, stand up, and jump as high as you can. It builds muscles and endurance. Don’t expect to be able to do a lot when you first start. They’re not as easy as they sound!
- Next, try squats. They activate your body’s biggest muscles, the ones in your thighs and rear-end. They also counteract the loss of muscle mass that comes with aging. Studies show that weight-training exercises like squats even lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease!
- The third expert-recommended exercise: H-I-T. That stands for High-intensity Interval Training. That’s when you hop on a stationary bike and ride like crazy for 30 seconds. Then hop off and rest for four minutes, then repeat for a full half hour. In one study, riders who did that once a day for two weeks – for a total of seven hours - increased their aerobic capacity more than people who pedaled slowly for over 10 hours!
- The final great exercise is: Walking! A recent study found that walking for an hour a day increases physical fitness and thigh strength by 20 percent. It also decreases hypertension, obesity and depression dramatically. A regular regime of brisk walking has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with memory. That means walkers have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.