Basic Facts About Exercise
By Donovan Baldwin
Exercise can be divided into many different classifications depending on a wide range of criteria, but, we are going to talk about aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
The word "aerobic', basically means "with oxygen". The word, "aerobic" appeared in the 19th century and is actually a bit of an artificial word combining English with a variation of the Greek word, "bios", meaning "life".
Aerobic exercise generally requires a higher oxygen intake, and most cardiovascular exercises are part of this category. Anaerobic exercise uses less oxygen, and thus has less of a cardio effect, but, it tends to burn fat as the main fuel and creates lean muscle mass which replaces fat, and continues to burn excess calories after the exercise has stopped.
Aerobic exercise tends to burn available sugar stored in the tissues of the body, glucose, and, unless continued for an extended period is less likely to burn fat.
There are many myths and misunderstandings about exercise, but one thing you should realize, the health benefits of exercise can be much greater than you might expect from small amounts. Even a moderate exercise program, if done regularly and with some effort can burn fat and create a healthier, more efficient, and usually more attractive, body.
Even a regular light exercise routine will help clear out accumulated toxins which accumulate in the body in the course of daily life. It will help the body better distribute necessary food and oxygen, elevates mood and energy levels, and stimulates the body to perform all functions at higher levels.
Despite all the possible health benefits of exercise, however, burning fat, and, as a result, managing weight, has to be one of the most important purposes of exercise.
To be sure that you are burning fat rather than sugar, and burning fat efficiently, it's important to make sure that you are doing several things as you exercise.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do as you exercise is to breathe deeply.
Breathing during exercise should be deep, but never difficult. One common recommendation is that you remain able to carry on a conversation during exercise. Of course, you will see exercise professionals push themselves to points where conversation is impossible, or impractical, but, the ordinary person, exercising for health, fitness, and longevity should avoid such extremes.
Along the same line, you should keep your overall exercise level in a comfortable range. Leave the "no pain no gain" for the professionals. You should exercise at about 70% of your potential for 30 minutes a day. This can be difficult to extimate, but, in time, you will see how picking the proper weights, running or walking at a given speed, or for a given distance or duration, can allow you to "fine tune" your exercise experience.
One thing to consider along this line is that you have a life to live, and you do not want to deplete your energy reserves during your exercise period. The good news is, that, as you progress, you will find yourself not only able to do more exercise, but having more energy to do it, and, all the other fun things you like to do, as well!
You may notice other effects which also create better health and a more positive you. Exercise and sleep go hand-in-hand, with most regular exercisers experiencing better quality sleep, often in less time than they currently need. Having said that, however, don't skimp on sleep. Quality and quantity of sleep are alomost as important to achieving the health benefits of exercise as the exercise itself.
Since you don't need to do high levels of exercise to reap its benefits you should have no problem finding the time to exericse. You can, for example, use your lunch break to exercise. When my wife drove to work in downtown Austin, a few years ago, she would park a few blocks away from her office. Not only did she have to walk to and from work, but, she also had to use her coffee break to go feed the meter instead of feeding herself snacks she didn't need. The increase in energy and productivity will be worth the effort, and, you will find that this increased energy and productivity can actually free up time for more fun things...or more exercise!
While aerobic exercise is best for immediate and direct heart health, any type of exercise you do regularly will strongly benefit your heart. It will help make the heart a stronger and more efficient muscle...which is what the heart is. The deep breathing which occurs naturally with exercise can improve lung function and oxygen processing. The entire distribution of oxygen and nutrition throughout the body will be improved as will be the functioning of every physical process...and many mental ones as well.
In fact, recent research is proving that regular exercise is not only a major factor in good health, but, LACK OF EXERCISE is a major risk factor for almost every disease and ailment...especially age related illnesses and conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Even mental problems associated with aging, such as dementia, and even Alzheimer's Disease, seem to be positively influenced by regular exercise.
Additionally, regular movement helps keep joints functioning more effectively with less pain, even in those with various forms of arthritis.
The health benefits of exercise far outweigh the relatively small amounts of time and effort which are required for a regular, moderate, exercise program. Better weight management, improved circulation, more efficient organ function, including brain function are just a few of the health benefits of exercise you might expect.
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