In short the best type of exercise is the one you enjoy doing and will do most often.
There is no point in doing the ‘best’ type of exercise if you don’t enjoy it or, worse still, it doesn’t balance your body.
When I work with clients the first thing I do is a thorough assessment. I need to know where we are starting from so I can logically plan a path forwards.
If you came to see and you did one of the most basic tests I send out, and it looked like the picture above, your body needs something very different to if the scores were in the green (low priority).
￼So the best type of exercise for this particular person is different to someone with lower scores, but why?
Your body summates stress, meaning it doesn’t matter where the stress comes from, it all gets added into the nervous system to deal with. As exercise is another form of stress the last thing the person above would need is a “stressing” form of exercise.
This particular person needs an energy-building exercise not an energy-depleting exercise.
I use the following hierarchy I learnt from studying with the Chek Institute when prescribing exercise and setting up corrective programmes:
1. No workout routine – if you have scores like the ones above you don’t qualify to workout, your body needs to “work-in” meaning build energy (see point 2 below). All available energy and time should be spent resting, recuperating and making lifestyle changes to create a more harmonious balance for the nervous system.
2. Energy-building exercises – there are various ways you can make an exercise energy-building rather than energy-depleting and stressing. One is making sure you can do the exercise with your mouth closed and only breathing through your nose. Slow walking might be an example of that. Tai Chi, Qi Gong and very gentle forms of Yoga are all possible energy builders.
3. Stretching – with a corrective stretching programme you should be balancing your body and improving posture. This is a fantastic way to take stress off the nervous system and also to increase endorphines which will naturally help improve your scores.
4. Core function – once energy has started to be rebuilt and the scores on your assessments are on the way down to the amber or green, it would be time to improve your core function. The core needs to be functional before you can move onto what most would be considered proper working out.
5. Functional exercise – now your scores are lower and your core is working more effectively it would be time to workout. This might be running, sprinting, squating, lunging and any of the more “sexy” forms of exercise. Being careful not to jump into this too soon is important otherwise you could be making your body worse not better.
I hope that gives you a little insight into how and why I do things the way I do and what you should consider with your own exercise programming.