Easier Ways to Exercise
Timeless Fitness Tips...
1. Join a health club where most members are heavy. Many clubs across the country cater to over weight people and you'll feel much more comfortable and will probably make some great new friends. Facilities like this downplay mirrored walls and other body-builder trappings. Check your phone book to see if there is one near you and give this idea some thought. If you find one, go visit it and get a feel for it - you'll know if you still feel uncomfortable and find this just isn't for you.
2. So, you didn't like the health club, or perhaps it was too expensive. Nothing wrong with that. You could give some thought to buying a piece of exercise equipment for your home.
This could be a treadmill, rowing machine or stationary bike or a set of weights for strength. Think this through though, and know that you will commit to using it; not letting it become a clothes hanger or a catch all.
3. Find ways to get some physical activity each day. Walk rather than drive whenever you can - with gas prices these days, this is more economical, too! If you have an option of stairs or an elevator, take those stairs. If you communicate in the office via e-mail a lot, don't! Walk to the co-worker you need to bring a message to. Apply the same to the phone.
4. If you are troubled with arthritis, try swimming or water aerobics. These are very good calorie burners and are very easy on the joints.
Want to see fitness grow and stress go? Plant yourself in the garden. A half-hour or more of continuous digging, planting, weeding, pruning, raking and mowing provides an excellent overall workout, raises your heartbeat and burns calories.
Exercise Regularly to Boost Your Immunity
Some exercise physiologists believe regular moderate activity enhances the immune system thus reducing your susceptibility to infection. On the other hand, they believe intense exercise suppresses the immune system response.
Studies of marathon runners show a significant increase in respiratory infections at the height of their training, indicating that their immune systems are not functioning at full capacity.
Although the controversy about the detrimental effects of heavy exercise is ongoing, there is solid evidence that regular, moderate exercise does boost your immunity.
When you exercise, you raise your core body temperature, which works to "pasteurize" your blood by killing off any germs that may be there. Some researchers theorize this also may kill off random cancer cells, which would explain why regular exercisers are less likely to develop cancer.
Exercising on an Empty Stomach
Muscles require energy for movement. This energy is found in the form of glucose (blood sugar), glycogen (sugar stored in the muscle), or body fat. When exercising, the body first uses the glucose circulating in the blood for energy. If you have not eaten, your body will not have the available glucose and will drain the glycogen from the muscle cells. The result is a tired feeling and a lack of muscle endurance.
Fat is not immediately burned because the body conserves fat during times of deprivation. The metabolizing of fat is a last resort and usually does not occur for the first 24 to 48 hours of lowered glucose levels.
There are some experts, however, who say an activity such as running, or other aerobic type exercises, are better done on an empty stomach. The thinking is that you'll burn more fat because your body is forced to utilize its fat reserves during the aerobic activity.
But when it comes to muscles, they usually get their energy from carbohydrates. Therefore, if you haven't eaten before exercising your muscles, you body won't have many carbs in reserve. Scientists say that forces it to burn fat instead.
- Aerobic exercise, do not eat before exercising.
- Muscle/strength training, do eat 20 minutes or more before working out.
Four Quick Tips for Getting Exercise
Tip #1. Start small. Don't worry if you can't achieve much your first time. Exercise and therefore results take time and require patience. If you can't work out for 20 minutes, start with 10 and work up a minute every other day to the 20 minute level.
Tip 2. Keep up your intensity. A treadmill is a GREAT way to kick start any day! If you go on a treadmill for 20 minutes without breaking a sweat, you are not exercising. Sweat is the result of your intensity. Try to keep up your workouts at the level 7 or 8, that is when you are still able to talk, but probably wouldn't want to.
Tip 3. Be consistent. Try exercising 5 to 7 days a week. Here's where you have to be creative and come up with a variety of exercises to keep you going. Remember, you can make exercise boring or fun. The choice is yours.
Tip 4: It is a good idea to exercise in the morning. It gives you energy for the whole day and increases your metabolism. Plus, you don't have as many excuses in the morning, since all you have to do is get up a little earlier. And just get it over with sooner! Try preparing your workout clothes before you go to bed so that when you wake up, you are ready to go!
Note: Exercising at a particular time of the day is strictly an individual choice and should be done according to your own needs and lifestyle.
Double-Duty Calorie Burners
Go for double-duty on your calorie burning efforts! For the speediest results from your workouts, trainers suggest incorporating one or more of the following activities:
- Yoga - You are almost constantly extending, lifting or balancing on your arms and legs, which strengthens all the major muscle groups - and a few more! You will discover muscles in places you didn't know you had some!
- Rock climbing. Climbers use their arms to help pull, grip and position their body weight on the rock, quickly sculpting shoulders and biceps.
- Martial arts. All the punching, blocking and striking require significant power and agility and works the arms from shoulders to fingertips.
- Versa Climber. Imagine climbing a ladder in place and using your arms to pull down and push up with every step. It is a tremendous workout for your biceps, triceps and shoulders.
Some of the best opportunities to burn some extra calories arise as you're talking on the phone. Stand up and do front, back or side leg lifts while you chat. Add ankle weights for greater toning and calorie-burning effects. Stand on tip toes for as long as you can until the muscle starts to burn. If you're on a cordless, walk throughout your conversation. Or grab a heavy can of food and do alternating bicep curls for tighter arms. For a firmer butt, lean against the wall and sit on an imaginary chair.
Exercise During the Holiday Season
Exercise offers an excellent solution to three of the major challenges that everyone tends to face during the holiday season. These three most common challenges are as follows.
- Eating larger amounts of fattier foods and more sweets. Think candy and cookies.
- Dealing with increased levels of stress due to holiday pressure, parties and time crunches.
- Becoming more vulnerable to the winter "blahs." For some, this is a very painful time emotionally. Many of us forget that when we are in the heart of fun festivities.
The first holiday challenge addressed by exercise is the delicious but oh-so-heavy foods that we thoroughly enjoy every year. Studies have shown that indulging on these foods once in a while does not have a long-term effect on our overall weight. However, they can leave us feeling slow and sluggish afterward. Do treat yourself, but don't gorge. There's always a middle ground!
People with digestion problems may also regret some of their holiday indulgences. By exercising up to one hour after a meal, we can raise our energy levels and aid our digestive processes.
Getting moving is also good for our cardiovascular system after we've been sitting at a dinner table or on a living room couch for hours at a time.
Preventive Health Care With Exercise
Preventive health care is necessary to avoid dealing with obesity, circulatory problems, heart disease, diabetes, and a lack of energy later in life.
The best way to guard against poor health and to improve almost every aspect of life is to include exercise in your daily life. Smart choices, consistent physical activity, and proper diet will make it possible to enjoy vitality and good health now and in the years to come.
Today is the day to begin! The best way of dealing with the stresses of daily are working out. By doing so, you can literally "work out" anger, depression, and anxiety. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, natural painkillers, and mood-elevating chemicals. Along with relieving stress and experiencing a natural high, heart and cardiovascular health will improve over time.
Equally important, exercise includes the following benefits to overall health:
- Blood pressure is lowered.
- Cholesterol is lowered.
- Blood sugar levels regulate themselves.
- Calories are used as energy rather than stored as fat.
- Toxins are eliminated from the body through perspiration.
- Bone loss is slower.
- Muscles are toned and work more efficiently.
- The mind is invigorated, making it easier to remember, create, and learn new concepts.
Vary your workouts from long, slow endurance sessions to faster clip cardio with a few full-tilt sprints thrown in for good measure. It is both the duration and the intensity of workouts that create growth signals that can have anti-aging effects. Exercise produces the positive signals to overcome the negative signals to atrophy, so your body turns on the machinery to build up muscles, nerves, capillaries, tendons, bones, and so on.
The Rest Element
How much rest you need depends on your level of fitness and the intensity of your physical activity. During any strenuous activity, microscopic tears occur in the muscle fibers. These tears do not damage the muscle as long as they are given enough time to heal. That's why rest is so important. Rest means to literally take time off before exercising again. The muscles need forty-eight hours to repair themselves. So if you're doing a total body workout that includes weights and cardio, you should alternate rest days with workout days.
- "We've yet to find a disease state where exercise isn't helpful". --Miriam Nelson, PhD, scientist, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University.