What type of exercise should I be doing?

Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Pilates, Running, Sports Physiotherapy | 4 Comments

A lot of patients ask me what type of exercise they should be doing to keep fit and healthy. Is swimming better than running? Should I be going to the gym? Will Pilates really benefit me? There are a few different components which make up a good exercise regime but probably the most important one is consistency. Good intentions are just that, so the key to a good exercise regime is picking something you enjoy doing so that you are more likely to keep doing it! Move more, sit less. Don’t go for a gym membership if you prefer exercising outdoors and don’t take up running if you hate it.

Variety is also important when it comes to exercise. If you like to run, make sure you include a strength training session or a pilates class to help improve your flexibility and core strength.

Remember your run/spin class/cycle to work only takes care of one aspect of your exercise, your cardiovascular fitness. While this type of exercise is best for fat burning and makes you feel fantastic and look slim it is not the only type of exercise you should be incorporating into your regime. Resistance training is important as it keeps your muscles strong and also increases bone density and your metabolism. Flexibility and core strength ensure good alignment and posture which can help to reduce the likelihood of injuries.

If all of this seems too overwhelming just remember that variety and consistency are the most important things! Overall, if you are combining a few different types of exercise it will help to keep you exercising for longer, and keep you interested in staying fit.

 

4 Comments

  1. CW
    June 3, 2011

    I’m keen to get back into some running – for the fitness and mental space. It has been quite a while and I’ve had children during my break from regular exercise. I feel my pelvic floor is strong enough (am going to post another question to your colleague about this), but is there anything else I should keep in mind. I have had friends who have found running has affected their milk supply while breastfeeding. Any tips on this?

    Reply
  2. Elisabeth Johns
    June 8, 2011

    Yes, definitely, there are a few factors to consider other than just your pelvic floor. Any time you are getting back in to exercise, it is important to build things up gradually. It can often take a little while for your body to get used to exercising again, especially after all the changes it has gone through from having children. The best approach would be to start with a walk/run and build your distance up slowly. For example, try running 200m and then walking 200m for 2km, and as this gets easier, increase the distance you are running, for example 400m, but still interspace it with the 200m walk. As far as the breastfeeding goes, have a read of this article on breastfeeding and exercise put together by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. According to the research, there is nothing to show that running whilst breastfeeding affects milk production. So, give the interval training a go and if you still are having problems, it is best to consult your Physiotherapist!

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  3. Amanda Flannery
    June 23, 2011

    I have actually started running for the first time in my life. I have put into practice your “best approach” that you previously referred to. I was always a walker but used to give up but now I am finding my pelvic floor is not what it should be. It is great to read that consistency and mixing it up is the key, it keeps me motivated to not give up.

    Reply
  4. Elisabeth Johns
    June 24, 2011

    Hi Amanda,
    thanks for your comment, it is great to hear that mixing it up is helping with your motivation! It’s so important to keep moving so keeping it interesting is definitely the key. Winter is the hardest time of year to stay motivated so keep up the good work!

    Reply

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