Human movement includes not only actions at the joints of the body, but also the motion of individual organs and even individual cells.
As you read these words, red and white blood cells are moving throughout your body, muscle cells are contracting and relaxing to maintain your posture and to focus your vision, and glands are secreting chemicals to regulate body functions.
Your body is coordinating the action of entire muscle groups to enable you to move air into and out of your lungs, to push blood throughout your body, and to propel the food you have eaten through your digestive tract.
Consciously, of course, you contract your skeletal muscles to move the bones of your skeleton to get from one place to another and to carry out all of the activities of your daily life.
So firstly change your mindset right now from one of ‘I need to exercise to lose weight’ to one that says: ‘I exercise for my health not necessarily to lose weight’
Think of exercise as being movement – Movement for you, your body and body processes. And the more you move the better body system processes will become.
Cardiovascular and Aerobic Conditioning
Beneficial aerobic activities are defined as exercises that raise your heart rate to your target heart rate and maintain that level for a minimum of 20 minutes. While the most important aspect of aerobic exercise is sustained cardiovascular activity, there is an optimal heart level you should target.
For a cardiovascular workout, 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate is the ideal range. Your maximum heart rate will depend on your age. You can easily find this number and pick your target heart rate based on your fitness level.
Aerobic exercise has many benefits. In combination with a healthy diet, it helps you lose weight and keep it off, reducing all the risks associated with being overweight. It strengthens your heart so it doesn’t have to beat as fast, lowers blood pressure and reduces bad cholesterol, lessening the risk of heart attack. Aerobic conditioning also controls blood sugar, helping to manage diabetes.
Strength Training and Muscular Development
Strength training is a musculoskeletal exercise type that progressively increases the resistance muscles can overcome. Over time, this enlarges and strengthens the muscle themselves. Strength training improves your health in several ways. More muscle mass increases your metabolism, helping you burn more calories. This makes it easier to control your weight. Stronger muscles reduce the risk of injury during daily activities or other exercise.
Weight training also helps bone health. Bone density is at its height at about age thirty. By stressing the muscles, strength training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures.
Without regular strength training, you are probably losing muscle mass right now. A person loses half a pound of muscle every year after age 20, if not actively training. This rate of loss doubles after the age of 60. If you are not actively working on muscular development, you are losing the benefits associated with your metabolism and increasing the risk of injury due to strain and over-exertion.
Strength training and muscular development are critical to true health and fitness.
Stretching – Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons
Stretching is another important component of your fitness and well-being. Stretching should be done along with weight training or aerobic exercise at least two times a week.
Stretching should be done when muscles, tendons and ligaments are properly warmed up. This means it is best to stretch just after a brief physical warm-up routine. You should hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds and extend to the point of tension, but stop before pain.
Stretching works by increasing the muscles’, ligaments’ and tendons’ ability to elongate. By taking the time to stretch, and hence elongate your soft tissue, you can increase your flexibility.
While most exercises tend to tighten muscles, ligaments and tendons, stretching assists in keeping them flexible. This makes daily activities and exercise easier and safer. Stretching also improves your range of motion. Good range of motion makes moving limbs in their joints easier, including ones that could prevent or lessen the severity of falls or accidents.
Flexibility and the elongation of your body’s soft tissue will also improve blood circulation. This, in turn, will keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons supplied with oxygen so that they are able to recover more quickly from workouts or injury. Finally, stretching can relieve stress by relaxing the tense muscles that often accompany mental tension.
Core stabilization involves strengthening the muscles that line your spine and make up your abdomen and pelvic floor. These muscles help control your posture, balance and the power and efficiency with which you move.
Since it is so important to posture and balance, many of the best exercises for core stability involve maintaining body positions. More specifically, core strengthening typically involves placing the body in a position where the core muscles are required for the body to maintain that position for a certain time interval.
Having strong core muscles makes athletic exercise easier and safer, since power comes from the trunk of the human body and greater core stability creates smoother, more coordinated movement.
Core strength training is also excellent in correcting bad posture. This can minimize and even prevent injuries associated with general physical activity. Finally, core strength is required for most explosive movements that are performed across most active sports.
Beginning to Increase Your Level of Fitness and Well-Being
Assess your current fitness level and increase your activity appropriately.
Adults should have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 24.
Your body fat percentage should be no higher than 31
Your muscle mass should be no lower than
Though it depends on many factors, a good resting heart rate is between 60 and 80 beats per minute, and a healthy blood pressure is less than 120 over 80 mmHg.
You should seek the advice of a health professional to determine your current state of health and receive recommendations for a fitness program.
Start with walking a lot more
For many people who get very little exercise, adding more activity to their lives can begin with simply walking more. If possible, you may decide to walk to work rather than drive, or simply go for a walk in your neighborhood in the evenings.
Individuals who are already active will still see benefits from increasing their level of fitness and well-being. It will make the activities they already participate in easier to perform and more enjoyable. For these people, the best thing to do is to implement a fitness plan.
Get a good fitness plan
A good fitness plan takes many aspects into account. Among other things, it should involve regimented exercise, diet and nutrition, as well as time for mental and physical rest. It is recommended that you consult fitness experts to assist in developing a fitness plan.
Fitness experts have the necessary knowledge, experience and training to appropriately evaluate your current fitness level, and thereafter make recommendations regarding your fitness routine as your fitness level progresses.
Active people and athletes need structured fitness plans because their tolerance for exercise is much greater. They need to focus and target workouts more acutely than those just beginning to get fit. Since they are already within a healthy body weight range, cutting calories and fat is probably not the primary goal of their dietary regimens.