We hear all the time about the importance of exercise in a healthy lifestyle. But there are so many different exercises and so many training styles how do you know what the best exercises are? This will be informed by a number of factors; your health history, your activity levels, your weight, your personal interests, your sport, your age, etc. Here I intend to give you a convincing argument for three exercises (and variations) that EVERYONE should include in their healthy lifestyle regardless of goal. But before I give you the exercises, let me establish some context.
If you have followed me for a while now you'll be well aware that I believe everyone should be doing some kind of resistance training on a regular basis. If you are unsure why, read this blog I wrote a while back (HERE). Not only do I believe it (and let me be clear that is is not a personal opinion based on emotion, it's an evidence-informed opinion) but just recently the the UK Health Authority declared that everyone should do at least two muscle strengthening workouts per week.
High intensity training or HIT, often referred to as HIIT which actually stands for High Intensity Interval Training has been presented as some kind of magic bullet for fat loss in recent years. I mean, I was even taught this when I first did my level 3 personal trainer diploma. The main reason we are told that HIIT burns more fat than other forms of exercise is because of something called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC for short. This is often referred to in more simple terms as ‘the afterburn effect’. The theory being that after a bout of very high intensity exercise you burn more Calories while you recover. Some sourced have claimed that you could burn an extra 1,000kcals over 24-hours. This is completely false. Let me explain more.
Did you know that in addition to fitness and nutrition I also offer professional bike fits? Well I do. Full disclosure, I’m a part-time recreational cyclist at best and my personal preference is for off-road. I ride an entry level 26er hardtail… Yep a 26er, remember those? Anyway, the fact that you are likely a more serious cyclist than me ought not to put you off because I have a very particular set of skills, skills that I have acquired over a long career… Don’t worry I’m not going to hunt you down and kill you like Liam Neeson.
If you play sport or take part in some kind of sporting activity you probably do so because you enjoy being active, maybe your sport is your passion, your life purpose. But, in my experience, many recreational athletes don’t take their diet as seriously as they could. I have talked about this a lot on social media, but exercise needs fuel, for us humans that fuel is the Calories we get from food and beverages. If you take your sport or exercise performance even semi-seriously and you aren’t taking 24-hour energy balance (Calories in Calories out) into account you might be reducing your performance potential, not to mention harming your health. There isn't an evidence-based practitioner in the world who would say otherwise.