Written on April 14, 2023 by Gillian (Gigi) Singer, MPH. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Finding the right exercises that fit your weight loss goals should be approached with a positive and compassionate mindset. The focus should be on feeling good and taking care of your body rather than on achieving a certain appearance or number on the scale.
The National Institute of Health says, “Most people tend to focus on one type of exercise or activity and think they’re doing enough. Research has shown that it’s important to get all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each one has different benefits. Doing one kind also can improve your ability to do the others, and variety helps reduce boredom and risk of injury.”
Endurance exercises, also known as aerobic activities, can raise your heart and breathing rates, leading to improved health, increased fitness, and better daily task performance. By enhancing the health of your circulatory system, heart, and lungs, endurance exercises can also prevent or delay numerous diseases that often afflict older adults, including diabetes, colon and breast cancers, heart disease, and more.
Common endurance exercises:
Endurance exercises to try:
Having strong muscles can have a significant impact on your daily life. It can enhance your ability to carry out everyday activities independently, such as standing up from a chair, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries. Weight or resistance training is often used to improve muscular strength.
If you're new to this type of exercise, start with lighter weights or resistance bands and gradually increase over time. Try to incorporate strength training for all of your major muscle groups at least twice a week without exercising the same group two days in a row.
Good balance is essential for various activities, such as walking, standing up from a chair, or bending over to tie shoelaces, even if it's not something you typically think about. Having sturdy muscles and the ability to maintain your equilibrium is crucial in performing these daily tasks and many others.
Balance exercises to try:
Flexibility is often something we lose as we get older, but it’s important for daily function. The best way to gain or maintain flexibility is stretching. According to the Mayo Clinic, improved flexibility can “improve your performance in physical activities, decrease your risk of injuries, help your joints move through their full range of motion, increase muscle blood flow, enable your muscles to work most effectively, [and] improve your ability to do daily activities.”
Flexibility exercises to try:
Here are a few ideas to help you find the right exercises that fit you.
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, finding activities that you enjoy can make it much easier to stick to a consistent workout routine. Whether it's dancing, hiking, yoga, or any other form of movement, find something that makes you feel good and that you look forward to doing.
When you approach exercise as a form of self-care and enjoyment rather than as a punishment for your body, it becomes much easier to maintain a positive mindset and avoid negative self-talk.
Plus, this is a great opportunity to find more fun activities that you enjoy. Have you ever tried kayaking? Paddle-boarding? Soccer?
Social media and the fitness industry can be a breeding ground for comparison and self-doubt. Remember that everyone's body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to focus on your own journey and progress rather than comparing yourself to others.
If you find yourself feeling discouraged or comparing your body to others, take a break from social media or unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Surround yourself with positivity and support, whether that's through friends, family, or online communities.
Read our other article, 8 equipment-free exercises to support your heart health.
Remember that progress is not always linear and that having off days or struggling with motivation is okay. Be gentle with yourself, and focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes or extreme diets. Try to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, and celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of your own body, all while working toward your weight loss goals (which telehealth for weight loss online can help with.