Benefits of choosing the best type of exercise for you Knowledge Base
Book online now
Contact Call us on:
0161 426 0100

What are the benefits of exercise and what is the best type of exercise for you?

“If exercise could be purchased in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation”

A well-known quote, but what exactly does exercise do for you? It is hard to find a body function for which it is not beneficial. I’ve listed them all and there may be a few you had not considered:

Running up steps

1. Bone Density: just like muscles, bone can become stronger regardless of age. Bone responds positively to stresses applied regularly to it and will become more dense and stronger and therefore less likely to fracture

2. Breathing and Circulation: exercise strengthens your heart muscle, lowers your resting heart rate, reduces blood pressure and has been shown to help lower your bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) levels, which helps to prevents build-up of plaque in your arteries

3. Immune System: exercise prompts deep breathing, which can literally flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. It also causes changes in antibodies, our disease-fighting blood cells, resulting in them being more active and more rapidly circulated.

4. Weight Management: this has to be done in conjunction with healthy eating and a balanced diet, however regular exercise conducted to a moderate intensity (aim to get warm and slightly out of breath) will help maintain a healthy weight.

5. Mental Health: a literature review conducted in 2007 on the effects of exercise on depression demonstrated that the social interaction was the most effective aspect; it has also recently come out top of a list of factors for long life. Exercise can help boost self-esteem and helps ease muscle tension associated with anxiety. It also slows the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and increases the release of serotonin and endorphins – hormones which trigger a positive feeling in the body.

6. Sleep and Energy: both of these are given a reciprocal ‘boost’ with regular exercise and one of the few benefits that quickly and almost immediately become noticeable. Sleep deprivation is one of the leading factors in chronic illness. It can be tricky to ‘get going’ with a regular exercise programme if energy is already lacking, but if you can, you won’t look back. (See our related blog on motivation to help get you started).

7. Digestion: exercise can help relieve constipation and promotes healthy digestion, and over time, it can also strengthen your digestive tract.

8. Pain Relief: exercise can be beneficial in reducing pain for so many conditions by strengthening, stretching, mobilising, de-sensitising and releasing lots of those lovely endorphins

9. Balance: hand in hand with our first benefit, plenty of exercise strengthens our lower limb muscles and improves our proprioception (our brain’s ability to know automatically what position joints are in and correct as needed), which prevents us from falling over.

10. Exercise has some amazing benefits, but they will all be enhanced if addressed in conjunction with an optimum work/life balance and healthy diet.

So what types of exercise are there and which one is best for you?

Exercise can basically be categorised as follows:
Strengthening (static and dynamic), Flexibility, Aerobic / Endurance (high and low impact), and Balance.

Bone DensityAnything that applies stress to the bones – strengthening plus aerobic, but remember to work on balance too.
Breathing and CirculationAerobic.
Immune SystemAerobic.
Weight ManagementAerobic.
Mental HealthAll apply if providing you with social interaction, sense of achievement and an element of relaxation (which might occur after as opposed to during).
Sleep and EnergySee mental health section.
DigestionAnything involving movement.
Pain ReliefIf you are seeking to use exercise to address a particular health concern, take advice from a health professional to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you.
BalanceSays it on the tin – balance!
To help the process, we’ve listed some popular sports:StrengtheningFlexibilityAerobicBalance
RunningXX*X
WalkingXX*X
SwimmingXXX
ClimbingXX*XX
Martial ArtsXXXX
YogaX**XX
PilatesXX*X
CricketXX*X
FootballXX*X
Weight trainingXX*X**
DancingXX*XX
GardeningXX*X

*when conducted with the right warm-up and cool-down routine
**when conducted at a high intensity level

Nearly all sports can be beneficial both for strengthening and flexibility. Any sport is good and can be easily supplemented by a few extra exercises to tick all the boxes, so simply choose something you enjoy!

How much?

To achieve health benefits, the NHS advises 150 minutes (e.g. 30 minutes of 5 days) of moderate aerobic activity per week OR 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week AND strength exercises on two or more days working major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

However, if you’re just ‘getting going’, even 5-10 minutes is better than none.

How hard?

Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate level is if you can still talk, but you can’t sing the words to a song. Stick to this level for the first few weeks if you are new to exercise.

Vigorous activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you’re working at this level, you won’t be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath.

REMEMBER: ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING, AND ABOVE ALL ELSE, ENJOY IT!!

If you are unsure of what level of activity or type of exercise is suitable for you, then please contact our clinic and one of our Physiotherapy team will happily have a free telephone consultation with you. For those looking to return to exercise safely, we are delighted to recommend qualified personal trainers Ben Potter and Olly Freeman from VIDE Fitness.

Go Back

To book your consultation please complete our online booking form*.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to discuss your needs, without obligation.

* Please note: If your treatment costs are to be paid directly by your health insurance company, we kindly ask that you contact us by phone or email to arrange your appointment.

0161 426 0100

enquiries@marplephysio.com

Please read our cancellation policy.

Google Rating
4.9
Based on 51 reviews
js_loader

Here's what our clients say.

Ellie R. ★★★★★ I booked in for a sports massage after struggling with neck and shoulder pain. Nadia was absolutely amazing throughout, I’m now feeling so much better and I’m able to turn my neck again. Thank you so much Nadia!M. G. ★★★★★ My son and I have both had physio treatment from Liz, who has been brilliant in helping us quickly improve our symptoms. She has gone out of her way to help us, and is a thoroughly kind and highly knowledgeable professional. Thank you so much!Alan W. ★★★★★ I have used Marple Physio several times for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. They have always been very accessible, efficient and effective in treating me. They are my first port of call for anything of this kind.Lara D. ★★★★★ I've had a few sports related injuries over the past few years and have seen both Nicky and Liz at Marple Physio. Both were super knowledgeable, understood the issue, and provided practical advice and exercises to help me quickly get back up and running (literally). I really recommend Marple Physio and have had nothing but good experiences. Thanks so much for all your help!Paul M. ★★★★★ My 13 year old son was suffering from a lower back issue that was stopping him football training and playing for over 4 weeks and it was really getting him down. A single appointment at Marple physio did the trick. The issue was quickly diagnosed, treated and he was left feeling much better with some exercises that have completed his recovery. I would highly recommend Marple Physio.G B ★★★★★ I went to Marple Physio during pregnancy as I was having problems with pelvic girdle pain and hypermobility. Before I started, I was struggling to walk up stairs without being in a lot of pain, had disturbed sleep from it and was dreading things getting worse in my final few months of pregnancy.Over my sessions Nicky gave me exercises that were manageable and safe, but still felt like they were making a big difference to my pain and also building up my strength. Pretty quickly I found my pain easing up and by my final session at 36 weeks, I felt in so much better shape than when I first started!I’d recommend Nicky to anyone needing support, but especially when pregnant. She was very approachable and really listened to what I needed and what I felt I could do as my pregnancy progressed.Amy W. ★★★★★ Brilliant service. Helped me so much with my low back pain. Saw a couple of other people at other clinics before working with Liz and she was hands down the best!Rose-Marie W. ★★★★★ I saw Nicky for pain in my c section scar which was affecting me on a daily basis. She was great at coming up with different treatments (exercises, physical manipulation and a cream) which have improved the pain I was experiencing.Helen Q. ★★★★★ Liz and colleagues have been treating my son for many years and are fantastic with him. Although his condition will never change keeping him free from discomfort and moving the muscles he can’t use are invaluable to his quality of life. We can’t thank and praise them enough not only for their knowledge but for their care, commitment and respect shown to us alljs_loader

At Marple Physiotherapy we pride ourselves on our excellent reputation. We therefore highly value the patient feedback we receive as we continually strive to improve our services.

Read more