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What’s the Best Type of Exercise?

David Fitzgerald

In this week’s vlog, David Fitzgerald talks about the different types of exercise and how each and every one of these can benefit us in different ways. Answering the question “what’s the best type of exercise”, in fact, is practically impossible as there isn’t one universal rule good for everyone.

What you can do, however, is understand what’s your problem (whether this is related to our muscular structure, our bones etc) and act accordingly.

We have put together a brief summary of the different types of exercise that exist and how these are applied by physiotherapists to solve a variety of issues. Watch the video the hear what David has to say.

Different exercises for every issue

If what affects you is difficulty in movement, lack of flexibility and fluidity in movement, then the exercises that would help you include something like yoga and customised stretching, things that help directly the areas interested. Two times a week should be a good place to start from to work on lack of flexibility. Once you regain the movement, however, there won’t be no need to exercise as intensively anymore.

If your aim is to gain muscle strength, then it’s good to mention that we’re talking about functional strength, which consists in being strong enough to support your body weight in daily activities. When patients discuss weight training with David, very often they have an immediate image of body builders and heavy weight lifters. Generally speaking, however, this is never what the vast majority of people need. In particular, a good thing about weight training is that a chartered physiotherapist can understand a lot about the patient through these exercises. Many people believe they suffer from issues related to their joints as they find specific movements to be more painful than others. More often than not, how David explains, painful movements are caused by strength deficits and weight training can help patients work on these issues. Thanks to professional help, it’s possible to distinguish between these two very different problematics. Pilates has become a very popular activity to work on improving muscle strength and that’s something that David would recommend.

The last type of exercise discussed is the one for weight loss. The best way for this type of exercise to work is by doing sustained activities at different types of intensity with a 55-60% maximum heart rate for roughly between 45 minutes to 90 minutes. If your weight changed a lot during the past few years, then you might need to implement different types of training in your routine, such as higher intensity interval training.  The reason being for this is that there is a different metabolic stimulus in different types of exercise and in order to maximise weight loss you need to mix those types of exercise. It’s also worth mentioning that continuous, longer-lasting workouts, like hikes and long walks, are not effective methods for weight loss.

What’s the trick to succeed with exercise?

The key, as David says in the video, is to find activities that please you and that you do happily as it would be almost impossible to consistently work on a program you don’t find enjoyable. Sometimes of course, you might need to do activities that you don’t find particularly enjoyable. For instance, patients who suffered from degenerative changes in their lumbar spine or hips might need to do some stretching at least twice a week and, although this might not be the most pleasant activity for them, it is something necessary for their health.

If you don’t feel like you find benefits in your exercise regime then it’s a good idea to question whether that’s what you need. Very often, in fact, people choose exercises based on what they like and not what they need; it’s important to find the right balance between the two and do what’s best for your health.

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