Slow exercise for health

Hopewood has advocated gentle exercise for years and now a new fitness craze sweeping through gyms in Australia confirms we were on track. According to the latest experts, it’s time to forget about high intensity interval training and brutal cardio workouts.

Cardio – the supposedly crucial, heart-pumping exercise we’ve been encouraged to do lately – might not be the answer after all. Slow, steady exercise – will also help us acquire lean, sculpted bodies.

Slow exercise is not just about looking good, it’s about improving heart and lung function and building strong bones and joints. Slow, steady exercise helps us build muscle while avoiding fatigue and injury.

Too often we see personal trainers push their clients to extremes, to the stage when they barely move their body. When you feel exhausted, you tend to use your muscles improperly, causing injury.

While High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has it’s appeal because it’s achieved in shorter training sessions, the truth is that you will not achieve great health with just 30 minutes exercise if you spend the rest of the day sedentary.

The key to wellbeing is regular, slow exercise and Pilates is a great example.

Pilates has the ability to raise your heart-rate, it’s great for your muscles and helps to develop a leaner, healthier you. Fit a Pilates class in the morning or at lunchtime for a muscle lengthening routine.

Walking is an important type of exercise and can literally be done anywhere! Take your dog for a walk, escape the office at lunchtime or even have a walking meeting with your colleagues. Walking is best done outdoors, in fresh air. You can even make it a meditative session by tuning out to your headphones and enjoying the serenity.

Finally, another important type of slow exercise is weight training. Weight training is crucial for building strong bones, flexible joints and healthy muscles. Some women worry that this type of exercise might make them “bulk up” but it requires a long-term commitment and a change in diet to see that sort of effect.

If you are intimidated by the gym, scared of free weights or just don’t know where to start – check the Internet. Search videos on YouTube, check out the app store and don’t forget to ask trainers for help at the gym!

Lifting weights can raise your heart rate just as high as an intense cardio class and has many other benefits for your body. The key to weight training is doing it the correct way, rather than powering through them quickly and inefficiently.

Once you can do a weight exercise properly, then you can load it with more weights for a better effect.

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