Are certain workouts better than others?

All workouts are great. If you like it, that’s the first step toward making it a habit. However, there are some exercises that give you more benefits for your effort. For example:

Lift it up: Resistance training will keep your muscles at their best. This will not just tone up fluffy arms, but also will maximize the caloric expenditure by increasing your metabolism at rest. Your muscles are your most active tissue—adipose (fat) tissue burns just half of what muscles burn daily. So, the more muscle you have in relation to your body fat, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Additionally, resistance training is the only exercise proven to keep up with age-progressive bone loss, which can reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Feeling high: Doing low intensity cardio for a long time is no longer the norm. Many studies show you can do less—as long as you incorporate high intensity intervals. So instead of walking for 45 minutes, you can walk for 20 minutes if you alternate between short and high intensity intervals—30 to 60 seconds maximums at an 8 to 9 rating on a scale of 10, followed by the same period at lower intensity, 5 to 6 on a scale of 10. This can also lift to your mood. Studies show high intensity exercise increases the release of the feel-good neurotransmitters, which mean less stress and more energy. And don't miss out on the increase in your libido; aerobic exercise improves vasodilation, which means better blood flow including to the intimate zones.

Deeper breaths: You can get more from yoga than just relaxation. Depending on the type of yoga you perform, you can work on strength, flexibility, and even your endurance all in one session. Regular yoga may even decrease some of the most common aging aches and pains, such as low back pain. Another perk: A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle shows people who practice yoga are mindful eaters. Paying more attention to what you eat will make you feel fuller faster and also help make better food decisions, such as choosing between yogurt and a donut.

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