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Elements of Exercise


Warm up

Warming up before exercising has physiological and psychological benefits. If you begin vigorous exercise without warming up, it can stress muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and the heart, which can lead to serious injury. It's also difficult to mentally prepare yourself for a hard workout if you don't gradually ramp up your level of activity. And it shouldn't take long. All you need to do are some light exercises that gradually increase your blood flow and muscle temperature.

Frequency and intensity

If you're interested in the health benefits of exercise, you should aim to exercise at least three times per week at about half your maximum capacity.

The best way to judge your exercise intensity is by comparing your exercising heart rate with your maximum heart rate, which you can estimate by subtracting your age from 220 beats per minute and multiplying the resulting number by 65%. (Or just fill in the blanks: 220-age x .65 = half your maximum capacity, in beats per minute.)

When you're exercising, check your pulse, count how many times your heart beats in 10 seconds and multiply that by six to get the number of times it beats in a minute. Compare that number to the one you worked out with the formula above.

Cool down

Just as it's important to warm up and prepare yourself for physical exertion, it's also important to cool down by gradually reducing your exercise intensity. When some people suddenly stop exercising, blood pools in their legs, leading to fainting and possibly heart problems. You should take about 10 minutes to cool down, or as long as it takes for your skin to return to its normal temperature.

Overload, specificity and progression

In order to improve your physical fitness, you must constantly place higher demands on the appropriate body parts. The principle of overload simply means that the body responds to increased demands by adapting, which can help you improve your aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.

The principle of specificity is even more appropriately named, and simply means that the body adapts specifically to specific types of training. So, if you want to increase your aerobic capacity, do aerobics and if you want to improve you muscle definition, do weight training.

When the body adapts to exercise, after training that involves overload and specificity, it becomes more capable of performing. That improvement is progression. If you've been running five miles a day and feel ready for six, for example, you're progressing.

When considering whether to progress by employing the principles of overload and specificity, you should base your decision on your fitness goals and how your body feels, not on others' performance. Everybody is different, and judging yourself against others is rarely fair or wise.

Thank You,
Joel Mosley
jmosley@BodyScienceUSA.com
http://www.BodyScienceUSA.comhttp://www.buildingmorethanbodies.com/


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times (blog)

Ask Well: Exercise and Weight Loss
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Minute for minute, you will expend more energy and therefore burn more calories if you exercise intensely rather than moderately. In other words, running for 30 minutes uses more calories than walking for that same half hour. I suspect, though, that ...



New York Times

For Those Stuck in the Terminal, an Opportunity to Exercise
New York Times
PHILADELPHIA — Dana Donofree had half an hour to wait for her flight to Atlanta and decided to use the time by working out — in a terminal at Philadelphia International Airport. Sitting on an exercise bike in Terminal D on a recent morning, Ms ...
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ABC News

Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
ABC News
It's possible these results might translate to younger folks, said Michele Olson, an exercise science professor and researcher at Auburn University in Alabama. “Even a little activity can increase the efficiency of your heart and lead to more energy ...
Exercise: Why 6 Seconds Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 MinutesmyCentralOregon.com

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The Real Danger of 'Too Much Exercise'
Huffington Post
The idea that extreme endurance exercise (e.g., exercising over an hour a day, racing multiple marathons in a lifetime, participating in Ironman distance triathlons) might be harmful for long-term heart health has gained traction in recent years. While ...

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BBC News

Six seconds of exercise 'can transform health'
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Short six-second bursts of vigorous exercise have the potential to transform the health of elderly people, say researchers in Scotland. A pilot study involving 12 pensioners showed going all-out in very short bursts, reduced blood pressure and improved ...
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Exercising 6 Seconds At A Time Yields Benefits: ReportInternational Business Times
Exercise Not Just For The Youth; Short High-Intensity Workouts Can 'Transform ...Medical Daily
Investorplace.com -Express.co.uk -Daily Mail
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Extra Exercise Could Help Depressed Smokers Quit
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For the study, published recently in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, the researchers said they examined quit-smoking programs for people with depression, looking for the effect of exercise against relapse and on withdrawal symptoms. They also reviewed ...

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HEALTH AND FITNESS: Exercise makes you healthy and happy
Aiken Standard
These positive effects of exercise have been demonstrated in clinical research as well as in surveys. Controlled studies are considered the standard for understanding the beneficial effects of exercise, but population-based surveys are also important.

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US Pacific Command Kicks Off Exercise Fortune Guard
Department of Defense
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 – U.S. Pacific Command is hosting personnel from 31 nations as part of the proliferation security initiative Exercise Fortune Guard. The exercise will be held in Hawaii and marks the beginning of a six-year series of exercises ...

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Hospital boot camp makes exercise fun for kids
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Memorial West's class is one of several programs offered through hospitals to help children stay healthy through exercise and proper eating. While Memorial's program is specifically geared toward keeping children active, both the University of Miami ...

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You Can Now Exercise While Waiting for Your Flight at PHL
Philadelphia Magazine (blog)
In a gym that's been moving around the terminals this summer, there are now exercise bikes and elliptical machines! The pilot program is just for the summer, though an airport spokesman says there is an indication the bikes could become a permanent ...


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