Archive for September, 2019

The Best Exercise

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

by Sheila Kalas, master trainer and owner of Fitness Plus

Sheila Kalas, master trainer and owner of Fitness Plus in Lexington, Kentucky

One of the most popular questions I get, as a personal trainer, is “What kind of exercise should I do?” My answer is always the same: “There is no one exercise that is better than another; any exercise is better than nothing.” This is true; however, there are differences with each type of exercise. And for YOU, one might be better than another.

What’s the best exercise? The one you’ll do!

What makes an exercise a better choice for you might be something as simple as the fact that you like it. Or it can be more convenient for you (using the club or fitness studio close to your house), or it includes other people (playing tennis with friends), needs little to no equipment (walking), or maybe it doubles as a job that has to be done anyway (mowing the grass).

All of these are wonderful, valid exercise choices. None of them do everything a perfect fitness routine would include, but considering that most Americans just need to move and work their body in ANY way, all of these are good choices.

If you are a competitive athlete or a very fit person looking to take it up a notch, there are many qualified trainers whot can help you find the weaknesses in your current routine and work on them. For example, someone who is in great running shape and even runs marathons may have incredibly weak core muscles, making them unstable as well as having weak glute and hip muscles that should be developed for better posture and reduction of injury.

Or, an accomplished weight lifter who has been dedicated to building muscle with various body building exercises for decades may have poor cardiovascular fitness, as well as terrible balance and instability. For these competitive, accomplished people, it would be best for them to seek out specific exercises and fitness routines that can further improve their competitive edge, reduce the chance of injury and keep them competing in the sports they love.

For the rest of the “normal” people, the choice of exercise that you participate in is less important. The first and most important goal is to get out there and do something on a regular basis . . . anything!

As you build a foundation of fitness, through walking, tennis, golf, swimming, gardening, mowing the grass, etc., then you can start homing in on specific exercise routines that can benefit you and your specific biomechanical needs.

Make no mistake, every singular activity, if done on a regular basis, will create some type of “repetitive motion disorder.” Your body will not be “perfect” doing a lot of any singular activity. If you run all the time, you will be quad dominant; you will have weak glutes and hips; you will have tight and/or weak hip flexors. But you also will be in great cardiovascular shape and probably maintain your weight better than most people.

I could make the same list for any sport or activity. Even classes that say they get every muscle and give you “full body workout” will produce biomechanical weaknesses over time.

This does not mean that any activity is bad, just that no one of them is perfect.

Here is what we know in the scientific and medical community: Exercise, any exercise, is good and necessary for your body to function at its best. Exercising on a regular basis is great for your health, but without proper guidance will not guarantee a body that functions without pain and gives you beautiful posture and no injuries.

If you are interested in getting fit AND trying to maximize posture, muscle balance, reduce injury and function better, then you should hire an educated trainer who can put a workout routine together for you that addresses all these issues.

However, if you just want to get started and can’t think about those health goals, then just pick something and start doing it. It doesn’t matter what it is or what the pros and cons are of that particular activity; if you are not exercising, start.

It’s perfectly OK to start your quest for fitness with a trainer who has his or her eyes on issues like posture and balance. And it’s OK if you just want to start by walking the golf course instead of riding in a cart.

Evaluate your personality, your goals, your life situation, and make a choice that fits YOU.

 
 

If you are looking for a personal trainer in Lexington and Central Kentucky, check out the bios of our Fitness Plus personal trainers and feel free to reach out to us at Fitness Plus.