This article will give you a short introduction to the aspects of basic exercise and why do we need it.We've all heard people say exercise is a great option to reduce weight or to stay healthier.Many also claim that not only does exercise help them stay fit physically but it also helps in maintaining the mental health.Today there is an increasing emphasis on preventive medicine, or maintaining health, partly as a result of the increasing costs of health care and our greater awareness of the effects of lifestyle on our own health.We are conscious of the foods that are harmful for us and the food that is healthier, yet some are having the desire to eat the food that might harm one's health.Only way is to avoid those foods the other is to do exercise regularly.But doing both is the obvious option since eating fatty items and exercising hard to reduce weight or stay healthier ,will get you nowhere.

Also, it has been found that exercise helps your body to utilize the oxygen you breath to be used effectively.Studies have shown that athletes(regular exercisers) have a very low percentage of oxygen wastage.i.e. they utilize almost all the oxygen they breath in.But an average man, who is not fit physically is prone to utilize below 80% of oxygen that he breaths in.Hence we are more prone to the oxidative effects(cause for ageing)if we don't have regular physical exercise.


Our body supplies energy to us for all the physical activities through metabolism, where the body glucose is burned to release energy.Some of you who have in some point of your life gone to a gym would have heard these terms-Aerobic and anaerobic exercise.The metabolism of glycogen or glucose that we talked about earlier,to provide energy for exercise occurs in one of two ways, depending on the presence of available oxygen to the muscle, which in turn depends on the type of exercise being performed. If oxygen is not available -this is called anaerobic activity, glycogen or glucose will be broken down by the anaerobic pathway.

However if oxygen is available it is called aerobic activity, it will be metabolized by the aerobic pathway  which is also known as citric acid cycle(whatever that is! only biology students may get a hold of the concept I think!). When oxygen is readily available, glucose reacts completely with the oxygen to produce water and carbon dioxide.Water? then we shouldn't get thirsty right? wrong! the water is released as sweat to cool down our body.The sweat , as soon as it reaches the skin's surface, it absorbs the heat and evaporates into vapour(no wonder we stink when we do exercise- bacterias that were in our skin start producing the pungent smell).

Have you heard of Lactic acid? It's the chemical responsible for pain of our joints or muscles.Whenever the muscle or joint is under extreme pressure-while doing intense physical activity, the brain responds by secreting lactic acid.This causes us to feel pain and we immediately stop applying more strain to the concerned joint or muscle.When a skeletal muscle is heavily worked, the acute soreness that results is due partly to a buildup of lactic acid. The presence of lactic acid can also be felt during exercise as a burning sensation in the muscles.It's more of a fail-safe device for the body against physical activity that may cause severe damage to our body.During anaerobic metabolism, the breakdown of glucose stops at an early point, producing lactic acid and two molecules of ATP- Adenosine Tri Phosphate, it's an energy carrying molecule. This anaerobic metabolism produces a oxygen deficiet, which is refilled later when oxygen becomes available.

In other words, these are the type of physical activity where you will need a burst of energy, for a short duration of time.Anaerobic exercise involves heavy work by a limited number of muscles, for example during weight lifting. These types of activities are maintained only for short intervals, and the supply of oxygen is insufficient , resulting in a substantial oxygen debt and anaerobic metabolism within those muscles. Another example is sprinting, in which the exercise is high in intensity but short in duration, resulting in substantial oxygen debt. Weight lifting and other types of anaerobic exercise increase strength and muscle mass, but are of limited benefit to cardiovascular health.These include the weight lifting exercises we do at gym for the muscle growth or to increase muscle mass.They are to be repeated with frequent intervals or else you will end up damaging the muscles permanently.By regular interval, it means that you do anaerobic exercise(muscles and weight lifting) only for about thrice a week(maximum for average man for average muscle mass) if you wanted to become a muscle freak, then you might do anaerobic daily but at the expense of damaging the muscles(no wonder you must take protein and nutrient supplements while you are doing anaerobics throughout the week).


If you've ever worked out, you would've certainly felt the immediate effects of exercise - Your heart responds to your body's request for oxygen when under pressure, your breathing rate increases and you start to sweat to cool your body. All of those things go back to normal as soon as you stop exercising, but, what you may not know is that exercising consistently can actually change how your heart functions.

There is this other kind of exercise-aerobic exercise , that uses oxygen to Large muscle mass working continuously at an intensity that can be maintained for a long time. Aerobic exercise uses several major muscle groups throughout the body, resulting in greater demands on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the working muscles. Aerobic exercise includes cycling, jogging, swimming ,walking,etc., and is the form recommended for reducing the risk of heart disease and increasing endurance.It is true that skeletal-muscle contraction is a main feature of exercise, many other systems in the body are activated to support this process.The heart and respiratory system works together to supply enough oxygen for the physical activity also they help to remove the carbon from the air we breath in, thus maintaining a continuous flow of oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.There is one more critical role of the cardiovascular system and respiratory system during exercise -it is to get rid of the heat produced by increased metabolism.As discussed earlier ,due to intense physical activity, the blood flow to the skin, transfers the heat to the surface of the skin and the evaporation of sweat ensures that the heat is absorbed by the atmosphere.Also the breathing of air in and out helps in getting the heat out of the body.


The beneficial or harmful effects of exercise may be based on two thing- the type of exercise you are doing and the physical fitness of yourself.Many athletes especially the ones that involve running or swimming and cycling take tests to find out how effective they are in utilizing the oxygen they breath in it is measured by a quantity called VO2 maximum, and it is measured during aerobic exercise.It's more likely that two persons who are well built and are of same physical fitness will use the same amount of oxygen while doing the aerobics.But it is wrong,the more fit person will be able to achieve a greater  oxygen consumption due to the training effect that takes place with regular aerobic exercise. As a person engages in regular aerobic exercise, the heart, lungs, and muscles all become more efficient at using oxygen. The heart pumps more blood with each stroke, the lung capacity of each inhalation increases, and the muscle fibers extract more oxygen from the blood. This effect is also seen in the heart.The heart becomes accustomed to the aerobic exercises so if we were to compare the heart rates of an athlete and a normal person, the heart beat per minute for a normal person will be higher of jogging for 10 mins than for an athlete whose heart rate will be just increased slightly because of his training with these kind of physical activities.

Regular exercise,lowers your resting heart rate. You heart must actually beats fewer times when you're at rest. That's why many athletes have resting heart rates as low as 40 or 50 beats per minute. As you exercise, you'll find your resting heart rate will decrease as you get into better shape.Also exercise makes the heart more efficient. Consistently exercising the heart makes it work harder for you with less effort expended. That means normal activities become easier since your heart doesn't have to work as hard.The strength of the heart increases,just like lifting weights repeatedly can make your muscles stronger, regular cardio exercise actually makes your heart (obviously a muscle) stronger. The stronger your heart is, the more blood it can pump with each beat. That means your body gets oxygen faster and more efficiently.So you can improver you stamina further, that will enable you to get healthier than others.


If you care about staying fit rather than muscle gain, then you should have 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity, daily aerobic exercise—such as walking, cycling,jogging, swimming, or even dance aerobics, besides these days you can see a lot of this dance aerobics becoming popular and it'd a fun way to get yourself fit, so give it a try.For routine workouts, begin with shorter exercise sessions and gradually work up to 20 to 30 minutes. In addition to reducing risk of heart disease, such an aerobic-exercise program will also help in weight reduction and altering body composition, and in enhancing flexibility.So that you don't have to worry about your body parts getting sore when you get old!.

On the other hand,if you are concentrating on improving muscle strength, regular, high-intensity workouts with weights are more appropriate.There is a particular benefit for this type of exercise- bone density, often a concern in the elderly, is increased, muscle decrease that might occur due to aging is prevented, and general strength and coordination are improved by this type of exercise. Remember that you can't just by a couple of dumbbells and start weight training , you must consult a suitable physician and get to know the type of routine that will suit your body type.If you go around being your own coach, you are prone to end up injuring yourself.

Also find little ways to get yourself active always,turn off the TV,once a week and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on sofa and watching the same old thing everyday.Try to walk more,take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work,got to a shop that is a little farther away from your house, Walk to your friend's house which is within one kilometer,etc.,these kinds of activities may not be vigorous exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting yourself fit.Remember the famous 'walk when you talk'? try it.If you are so concerned,make a list of all the physical activities you do on a day and if you find that the most of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more,getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.These days people are more glued to their seats than what they were used to about a decade ago.The constant sitting posture,affects your hip and spinal cord.Not only that, due to lack of physical work, you lose both bone and muscle strength slowly.

Never forget the stretching exercises-they are key to muscle growth.They stimulate the muscle growth and enhance your flexibility.Also it ensures that you don't get muscles crams.When you do intense aerobic or anaerobic exercise, your muscles are prone to get rigid. Hence it is always good to do stretching so that the muscles that were stiffened are relaxed.Finally the most important aspect of getting in shape is to make exercise an integral part of one's lifestyle. Exercising to stay as physically fit and healthy as possible should be a lifelong commitment, and is especially important to people who perform little physical work in their day-to-day lives which is what many do these days.



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