Benefits of choosing the best type of exercise for you Knowledge Base
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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
Martial ArtsXXXX
Weight trainingXX*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.


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.

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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.

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Here's what our clients say.

Marple Physiotherapy
Based on 38 reviews
Christopher L.
06:54 04 Nov 22
Brilliant, extremely knowledgeable and caring. They put me at ease which is very difficult when you have a very painful back. Everything from the therapy provided to the online programme they use to send you exercises is first class.
Kieran B.
12:52 23 May 22
I had physio on my shoulder with Liz and she is very friendly and an expert at what she does. She was quick to diagnose the issue and give me the appropriate exercises that helped fix the problem. Would definitely recommend.
James B.
09:05 03 Sep 21
I had a sports massage with Nicky. Overall, a brilliant service which I would highly recommend.
Mark B.
14:42 11 Jul 21
I received fantastic service from Marple Physiotherapy and my physiotherapist Nicky. The causes of my hip injury were investigated and clearly explained, and I was given several recovery exercises to follow. All in all a very rigorous, personable, and tailored experience. Would highly recommend.
Ste W.
06:07 25 Mar 21
I went to Marple Physiotherapy after I slipped on the ice with my dog and hurt my neck/shoulder. After many sleepless nights in agony I went to see Liz, who over a few visits worked wonders and had me pain free and most importantly got me my full movement back in my right arm. Everything from what she did in the practice to the exercises see gave me to do at home is geared up to promote a speedy recovery and her knowledge is incredible.Can’t recommend them enough, would definitely suggest a visit if you have any aches or pains.
Anthony W.
11:44 02 Mar 21
Very pleased indeed with the treatment. Working a treat. Home excercises are extremely helpful. Definitely recommend.
Dan L.
12:42 19 Feb 21
Great fiendly service. Nice premises. Liz sorted my issues out. Will return!
16:17 18 Dec 20
I arranged with Nicky for some physio on my father’s shoulder at short notice as my dad was in a lot of pain.He is so happy with the Sevice and effort Nicky gave him today and is very pleased with the results already. Thanks so much for looking after him. He will be returning next week..
Clare M.
11:31 19 Apr 20
Before lockdown I started treatment with Julie on my C-section scar. I have suffered with pain, aggressively red looking scar which was hypertrophic for a year. After a discussion and 3 sessions with Julie I saw an improvement. We did specific massage, which involved super gentle movement technique, along with an ultrasound treatment. Julie explained exactly how to treat my scar at home so I could continue with the movement technique myself.The scar is now less aggressive looking and in parts starting to turn skin colour and has more movement all along the scar. Although not 100% pain free just yet, it is a massive improvement.If you have any scar pain then I highly recommend having a chat with Julie and she can talk you through what treatment is best suited to you.

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.

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