5 best workouts for women according to a Harvard doctor
Dr I-Min Lee has made it simple for you
There’s a lot of information out there about the best workouts for women — be it how to lose weight, what’s best for anxiety or how to get a rock-hard bum. Thankfully, a super clever person from one of the best universities in the world has broken it down for us in the simplest of terms, naming the five best workouts for women with very clear reasoning.
And, if you think training for a marathon comes close to the top five, you would be wrong. Dr I-Min Lee, who is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medicine School has some words of advice and, as the Independent reports, it starts with advising you that running long distances, especially on concrete, is actually terrible for your joints and your digestive system.
Instead, Lee recommends five other workouts, in her special health report ‘Starting to Exercise’, which have a range of benefits.
The good doctor opens her work, “What can improve your mood, boost your ability to fend off infection, and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer? The answer is regular exercise.” The woman has us hooked.
5 best workouts for women
Lee names swimming, “the perfect workout.” That’s right, perfect.
This is due to the low-impact nature of the sport — meaning it is almost strain-free and is not going to hurt your joints. Swimming also works almost every muscle in your body, giving you a complete workout. The activity additionally raises your heart rate, meaning it improves cardiovascular health and aids weight loss or maintenance. And, if you swim regularly for around 30 to 45 minutes regularly, it can battle depression, stress and age-related decline.
2. Tai Chi
Next on the list is the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. Consisting of flowing movements performed with grace and attention to detail, the exercise’s combination of movement and breathing means it’s perfect for a range of abilities and ages and acts as a moving meditation.
Lee points out its specific benefits for the elderly, saying, “balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older.”
3. Strength training
The exercise du jour is third on the list, both in the form of resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Strengthening the body, Lee suggests, can either be achieved with heavy weights, or more reps with lighter weights (again making it good for a range of abilities). HIIT, she recommends, due to the combined benefits of strengthening the muscles and cardiovascular benefits.
Though apparently, consistency is key.
Good news for the gym-averse, walking is also one of Lee’s most-recommended exercises.
Walking acts as a nice low-intensity workout that can still shift the pounds. As well as benefits for the body, many studies are revealing the benefits it has for the brain. One study found that elderly participants walking for half an hour, four days a week for three months, “appeared to strengthen connectivity in a region of the brain where weakened connections have been linked with memory loss.”
Another study of 30 minutes of treadmill walking for only 10 consecutive days for the severely depressed found there was, “a clinically relevant and statistically significant reduction in depression.”
5. Kegel exercises
Fifth on the list is the much-overlooked kegel exercises, which are apparently important for both men and women. Used to strengthen what is called the ‘pelvic floor’, these exercises work on maintaining the muscles around the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.
The pelvic floor naturally weakens as we all get older, so tightening and releasing these muscles for a few seconds ten times, four or five times a day will help reduce instances in leakages later on in life
From: ELLE USA