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Chapter 5 Part 1

Chapter 5 – The Benefits of Exericise

What type of exercise is best?


Research does show that combining aerobic and anaerobic exercise with stretching to maximize the best results from exercise. Aerobic exercise increases your cardio vascular endurance. These include swimming, brisk walking, jogging, fast bicycling, aerobic dance, stationary machines such as treadmills, skiing, and sports such as tennis, soccer, hockey and basketball. Here is how my trainer explained Cardio exercises to me. Cardio exercises (like the stationary bike which is my favorite) are the best ways to “exercise” and “strengthen” your HEART and LUNGS and keep them in tip-top condition. Your cardiovascular system is made up of your heart and blood vessels. Its purpose is to supply needed energy and nutrients to your brain, muscles and nerves. Your respiratory system (lungs), on the other hand, is to get enough oxygen into your blood to supply your working muscles and to take waste out of your blood to keep it clean. Cardiovascular exercise has lots of health benefits too like lowering your blood pressure, and also it can burn lots of calories. It can also have a number of psychological benefits – for example, it can help you feel stronger and more capable, happier, and be more energetic.  

Anaerobic exercise develops strength and increases muscular endurance and involves weight resistance.  Some examples, free weights, dumbbells, exercise machines, or exercises such as squats and push-ups.  If you ever have done squats and did not like then when you first started to exercise, there is hope to enjoying them at a later date.   When I first started working with a trainer years ago I despised squats as they were so hard to do and I never understood why I should do them. Now after 9 months of working with Gena I chose to include them in my exercise routine as I have learned how beneficial squats can be for you as well as weight training. You can get a one week trial by going to and see how her program using weight training can help you.  

Lifting weights is about improving muscle strength and muscle tone. Lifting weights helps to tone, lift, firm, and shape your body. Also, stronger muscles can help with your everyday activities, such as lugging shopping bags, moving furniture, and carrying a heavy briefcase with bags of paper with your writing to and from work. (LOL). Lifting weights can also increase your lean body mass and therefore increase your metabolism. Lifting weights also strengthens bone by muscle and tendons impacting on the bone at the attachment points and producing growth stimulation. As you gain strength, joints and muscles work more efficiently together to increase your functionality all round including balance, flexibility, and stamina and injury prevention. 

The 40-30-30 Exercise Formula:

NO matter what you’re training, start by determining how much time you can devote to your workout and what your exercise focus is.  Remember you can always adjust your schedule as your time permits but you must start somewhere.  If you are doing aerobic exercise spend 40% of your workout doing aerobic exercise 30% doing anaerobic and 30% stretching. However if you want to focus on building muscle spend 40 % of your workout on anaerobic exercise, 30% aerobic exercise and 30% stretching. The best thing to do is do the do, actions are louder than talk.   Start with an activity that you find is comfortable.  When you feel it is time to progress to a more challenging level, increase the overall time and intensity of your workout. Personally I stay with a routine for at least a month most times six weeks. As long as you are still enjoying and seeing benefits its Ok to do the same routine. However, if you are bored, not doing the routine, or not being challenged anymore, then its time to consider a change in your workout.

Stretching promotes flexibility and should be in all programs. Stretch after your routine as muscles are warmer and less vulnerable to injury. Stretching reduces soreness and increases strength and flexibility while it relaxes the muscles just used. It can increase joint range of motion, and reduces the risk of muscle strain, tears and ruptures. Stretching is important as you age for strengthening tendons. Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion. As we age, our muscles tighten and we have less range of motion in our joints. Simple activities that we once took for granted, like cutting our toenails picking things up from the floor or zipping a dress, can all become difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make these daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

Stretching also improves circulation of blood to the muscles and joints. Increased blood circulation brings nutrients to our cells and removes waste byproducts. Better posture is also a result of stretching. Chronically tense and tight muscles contribute to poor posture, which in turn can affect the functioning of our internal organs, as well as our appearance. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest can help keep the back in better alignment and improve posture. Stretching, done properly, helps to relax tense muscles which result from stress. (We should all find a way to have less stress in our busy lives). As you gain greater flexibility and range of motion in the hamstrings and muscles of the hips and pelvis, it is possible to reduce the stress on your spine that causes lower back pain.

Stay tuned for the last part within this series: Sample exercise plans that are discussed in The Formula

Previous posts in this series

FORMULA- a Personalized 40-30-30 Weight-Loss Program 


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