To get the most from exercise it’s vital to pay attention to all areas of your body. These workouts will engage all your muscles – all at once. They will also get your heart pumping, making for great cardio workouts as well.
Tone up your arms with tennis. Tennis works the muscles from your feet all the way to your fingertips, exercising your chest, shoulders, upper back and arms. Serving and rallying the ball uses force from your legs, hips and arms. Gripping the racket against an incoming ball also helps build up your grip-strength, meaning the small muscles in your wrist and fingers get a work out too.
Swimming is excellent for muscles. It works all the large muscles in your legs and back, as well as the small muscles in your feet, shoulders and core that are harder to target. Swimming has the added benefit of being a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s great for sore joints and bones. It’s also an excellent cardio workout.
Pilates and yoga
Your core is the complex series of muscles through your back and abdomen. It includes everything besides your arms and legs. A strong core supports the rest of your body, including your posture. Pilates and yoga are low-impact exercises that increase your core strength and overall flexibility through a series of poses. Some poses can also benefit your calves and other leg muscles.
Weight-bearing exercise such as running is beneficial for strengthening bones to help protect against osteoporosis. Since running is a forward momentum motion, it requires power from your whole body, from your legs up to your arms. It is especially great for working your calves, thighs and core. Running is a high-impact activity, however, so be careful of weak bones and joints, and begin slowly if you are overweight.
Dancing is a fun way to exercise as well as be social. Most types of dancing will strengthen your core and hips. Many other forms, such as ballet, belly dancing and waltzing, will give you a whole-body workout. One very popular form of whole-body dancing is Zumba, an aerobic fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves.
What’s your favourite way of exercising your whole body?