Staying fit has become more popular as people become more aware of the health risks associated with obesity and poor lifestyles. Engaging in various fitness activities can ensure one to remain healthy and to an improved quality of life. Nevertheless, you must find a type of fitness activity that you take pleasure in performing to reap maximum results. Listed below are some of the top fitness activities and fitness types that you can choose from.

1. Weight lifting

Lifting weights is an excellent method of keeping fit. It can strengthen bones, increase strength, elevate your metabolism and boost your weight loss efforts. To achieve all these benefits, you must follow certain weight lifting principles. For instance, you are required to overload your muscles by using more resistance to ensure you avoid plateaus. Hence, you should only lift enough weight to complete your desired set and perform the exercise with proper form.

Increase your weight lifting intensity regularly to avoid muscle adaptation. This can be achieved by changing your exercises, increasing the size of weights and modifying the kind of resistance. Another principle of weight lifting is specificity. This means that if your target is increasing strength, then your weight lifting program must be formulated around that milestone. When weight lifting, remember to take breaks to enable your muscles to adjust, change and grow. Moreover, be cautious when handling weights in the gym and always ask for a spotter when lifting substantially heavy weights.

2. Strength training

Strength training makes use of resistance to stimulate muscular contractions which enhances the anaerobic endurance, size and strength of muscles. This form of training uses the principle of progressively enhancing the output of muscles through incremental increase of weight and uses several exercises and equipment to work specific groups of muscle. Bodybuilding and weightlifting are both founded on strength training.

Most men are able to develop sizeable muscles through strength training, while women are capable of building a firm physique. This exercise also offers functional benefits as it prevents osteoporosis and improves bone health in people with osteoporosis. Strength training can also be used in rehabilitation of people with weak muscles so as to optimize recovery.

3. Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is a very popular sport as it seeks to build up one’s musculature. Muscle growth is attained in three main ways including, strength training with weights, specialized nutrition that incorporates extra protein supplements and sufficient rest between workouts. Bodybuilding requires a special diet due to the high degree of muscle repair and growth. In general, bodybuilders need more calories compared to an average person so as to meet the energy and protein requirements necessary for supporting their training.

4. Cardio

Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises are activities that involve or improve oxygen consumption within the body. There are many forms of cardiovascular exercises. Usually, these exercises are done at a very low intensity level over long periods of time. For instance, running 10 miles at a slow pace is considered a cardiovascular exercise, while sprinting over short distances is not. Likewise, playing singles tennis is considered an aerobic activity, whereas double tennis has short bursts of motion punctuated by frequent breaks, is not predominantly aerobic.

5. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

High intensity interval training is a fitness strategy of alternating short intense exercises with recovery periods. The major characteristic of this workout is that it takes a very short time but offers immense benefits like improved athletic condition and capacity, enhanced fat burning and better glucose metabolism.

A standard HIIT session comprises of a period of warming up, followed by roughly 5 repetitions of very intense exercise, separated by a few medium intensity workouts, and finishing with a cool down. An example of HIIT is mixing sprinting very fast with periods of slow walking. It is suggested to use a timer or clock to keep precise times, intensity and number of repetitions.

6. Yoga

Yoga goes beyond offering physical benefits as it also improves spiritual well being. The various breathing techniques taught in yoga can improve blood pressure and heart rate. With regular yoga sessions, participants reported increased levels of energy, better muscle tone and relief from stiffness and pain in the muscles. Other direct benefits from yoga are improved flexibility and agility. With so many variations and poses, yoga can be performed by anyone, notwithstanding age or gender.

7. Pilates

Pilates is a workout system that emphasizes on stretching the entire body to increase muscle strength, improve balance, posture and flexibility. It incorporates many elements of martial arts, yoga and other forms of Western exercises. Nevertheless, Pilates is best used alongside other exercises for more effectiveness, particularly if the aim is to lose weight. Furthermore, the low impact nature of this type of fitness exercise means that injuries are very uncommon, which makes it very appealing for older people who have problems with their joints.

8. Sports

Thanks to sports, keeping fit no longer needs to be a boring and strenuous affair. Participating in various sporting activities can teach you teamwork, how to beat stress, to have fun and to make friends. Furthermore, the energy spent engaging in most sports burns many calories and can therefore assist in weight loss. For example, due to the fast paced actions in playing basketball, you can easily burn 700 calories within one hour.

9. At home workouts

Not every person has the time or money to exercise regularly at the gym. An excellent alternative for such people is working out from home. This cheap method is guaranteed to offer great results only if you stick to the fitness program without fail. Some of the exercises that can be done at home include press ups, lunges and chin ups among others. Like other forms of fitness activities, commitment is crucial for success.

10. Personal training

Personal training is an effective way of reaching your fitness milestones, especially if you have a certified trainer. A trainer usually offers guidance and motivation along with customized workout programs, specifically tailored to your body and your health goals. Hiring a trainer removes any guesswork about staying fit and enables better monitoring of your training progress.

11. Circuit training

Circuit training is fundamentally a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training. This form of exercise comprises of jogging in between strength training workouts. Through jogging between the various stations, you are able to maintain a high heartbeat rate all through the period of the training. Normally, you perform strength training exercises for 40 seconds at each station and then continue the general circuit for roughly 50 minutes.

Note that these exercises must be performed in the proper form and at the right amount to avoid risk of injury and for guaranteed results. Once you have chosen the type of fitness activity you want and you have already started, be patient and do not expect any immediate change.

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