|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Physical Activity Versus Exercise: Is there a Difference?
Quite often a client will come into the gym discouraged with their exercise program. The common complaint being lack of results. They give a list of activities they are doing but still do not see any changes in physical appearance. Yes this can be attributed to many variables but one of the key elements to consider is intensity.
We need to ask, what constitutes exercise? Is all physical activity considered exercise? The answer is no. Unfortunately there is not a general number or percentage that can be given to state that an activity is exercise. Exercise should be defined as an activity that is harder than what you may do on a daily basis. And this definition is going to vary for all individuals. It will be specific to an individual's background, possible limitations and current fitness status. What may be considered an exercise for one person may not be for another. For instance if you usually go for a walk each night after dinner, then walking (at this pace) would be considered physical activity not exercise. If you ride your bike to work everyday, cycling (at this pace) is going to become physical activity for you and not exercise.
When you first try an activity, it is new to you and your body feels challenged by this unknown stimulus. As you start performing this activity on a daily basis, your body starts to adapt and overtime it will become less challenging. The truth is that you are getting better at doing that activity and you don't need to work as hard. Yes, this is an indicator of some fitness improvement but soon those improvements will plateau. In other words, when this stimulus becomes familiar, the end result will be fewer calories burned and less stress on the body. In order for the body to alter its body composition and for you to see changes in your physical appearance, the body needs to be challenged. This is called the Overload Principle. This principle states that there needs to be a stimulus of higher intensity than usually performed to elicit any adaptations or changes. Without an overload or high enough intensity, the body is not going to change. If your body can get the job done in the status it is presently in, then it's not going to make extra effort to become stronger or leaner. Your body is concerned with survival not the latest bathing suit fashion.
So what do we prescribe for someone that is "working out" but not seeing the results they want?
First thing to suggest may be to change up their routine. It could be possible that they have been doing the same thing for so long that what was once a stimulus or exercise, no longer is. Instead of using the elliptical, why not try the treadmill, stationary bike or even roller blading? Instead of doing the same exercises like the seated chest press and cable row, why not do a cable chest fly or lat pulldown?
After changing the exercises you are performing, the next step is to appropriately progress the intensity. Your body will start to adapt to this new routine and we need to keep it guessing.
For aerobic training: A suggestion would be to work at an intensity that is challenging to you. When working aerobically an intensity closest to your anaerobic threshold will elicit the most adaptations. Try not to come into the gym and beeline to the elliptical day after day doing thirty minutes at level four. Your body will soon catch on to that intensity and you will end up burning less calories and causing minimal changes to your muscles. Those calorie counters on the machines should not be your guides. They are inaccurate and are used as a marketing tool to consumers. We all know someone or ourselves that stays on a machine until they burn a specific number of calories. That calorie counter is based on a 150 lb person with no consideration for their genetic makeup or current fitness status. Someone who is more fit will actually burn fewer calories! So lets use the talk test marker. You should be exercising to a point where you are struggling but an intensity where you can still have a winded conversation.
For anaerobic training:
Have you ever seen someone in the gym on the cable row doing repetition after repetition? They have probably completed about fifty and still do not look a bit fatigued. In order to see skeletal muscle changes we need to be working within the anaerobic energy system. In other words, working at a high enough intensity where your muscles fatigue.
The first step is to stay in the anaerobic energy system. A general rule would be completing a set between sixty and ninety seconds. If you were to perform the exercise for longer than ninety seconds, the anaerobic effect would be lost and minimal adaptations would occur. Most people are concerned with the number of repetitions that they are doing. What is most important is the time that the muscle is under tension.
The next step is the fatigue factor. Not only do we need to stay within a time limit, we also need to fatigue the muscle before the set is up. There are two options for fatigue: volitional or momentary muscular failure. Volitional fatigue, a fatigue more realistic for the general client, is a subjective fatigue where they chose to terminate the set when they feel they cannot perform another repetition. Momentary muscular failure, which elicits the most adaptations, is physical fatigue where the client cannot perform another repetition even if they tried.
The key to continual success with an exercise program is strategic variation along with the proper progression of intensity and exercises. Try to recognize what is considered physical activity and exercise in your program. There is a difference and will be reflective in your end results.
Gardiner, P.. Neuromuscular Aspects of Physical Activity. Human Kinetics. 2001.
Katch F.I., V. L. Katch, W. McCardle. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. Fourth Edition, 1993.
Teri Mosey is an Exercise Physiologist and Instructor for Health and Fitness Certifications.
Peak Performance Fitness
Outdoor exercise requires a little extra effort to keep safe in the fall, winter - TheNewsTribune.com
Disq device turns everyday movements into serious exercise: Stretching Out - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
Exercise: How To Keep Your Kids Moovin and Groovin
One out of five American kids is obese and the numbers keep going up. Lack of exercise is one reason for the obesity epidemic and it's a true epidemic that threatens health.
6 Things A Norwegian Fable Teaches Us About Healthy Perseverance Part 2
4. Ideas, goals and dreams have a shelf life.
Struggling To Keep Your Workout Schedule? So am I!
Sometimes following a fitness program or workout schedule is not quite as do-able as the folks writing the advice make it sound. I suppose the idea is to tell you what you should be doing to achieve your fitness or weight-loss targets, but you know sometimes life gets a bit in the way of all these plans, and there is just no way you can follow your intended program.
Life Walking: Dont Walk Just For Exercise - Change Your Life
"Life walking" is more than walking for exercise and fitness objectives. It's the larger ideal of using walking to change your life.
Weight Loss & Low Body Fat - High Calorie Burning Techniques During Workouts!
My name is Greg Ryan. I am a fitness expert, professional bodybuilder, personal, trainer to movie stars, and former employee of Kathy Smith.
Exercise: Why YOU Should Do It
Hundreds of Thousands of Americans spend millions of dollars each year on diet pills, "magical" exercise devices, and misrepresented health and fitness products, when in all actuality a good set of dumbbells and a brisk walk may be all you need to get in better shape than you've ever been in.What can you do with nothing but a set of dumbbells, you ask? Provide resistance to your body's movements - also known as weight lifting.
Fitness Focus: Overcoming Obstacles
If you're like me, the quest to be in shape, manage weight and overall well-being, at times, feels overwhelming. And, as if the quest to be fit isn't hard enough, there's often other obstacles to overcome: health issues, time management, mustering up courage or energy.
Get Your Exercise - Without Actually Exercising
With a few minor adjustments it is possible to get the exercise that is suggested and not go out of your way or spend money at the gym!When you think about exercising, have you ever wondered how you can fit it into your already busy day? That is what always crosses my mind?where do I work it in? Even a 30 minutes a few times a week sounds like a lot of time to spare when dinner needs to be cooked and the house needs to be cleaned, not to mention the errands to run and the mandatory work functions to attend.One of my coworkers, due to advice from her doctor, began to work her recommended dose of exercise into her daily routine successfully by making small shifts to her daily life.
Finding Time to Exercise
Exercising During Commercials I'm getting up an hour earlier these days. At first I said I'd never be able to do it: I was already sleep deprived rising at 6 AM how would I ever get up at 5 AM? I'd never be able to get to sleep earlier (this is still true), and a hundred other reasons why it wouldn't work.
Exercise And Stress
"Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet."Kim rolled over and reached for alarm that rang much too early.
Arthritis Exercise - One Way to Relieve Pain & Stiffness in Your Joints (part 2)
Even when you cannot make it out to walk or to an aquatics or yoga class, there are exercises you can do daily to improve flexibility, strength and conditioning when you suffer from arthritis. You can flex your legs while sitting in a chair facing forward, simply by moving your leg outward while keeping your foot on the floor and holding it there for a few seconds, then retracting it until your foot is behind you, then alternating to the other leg.
Athletics and Winning
Athletics are pretty cut and dry in one regard; the goal to win. Having been in competitive athletics in a prior life I can certainly attest to that.
Exercise and Diet - For Your Waistline
Caring for your body is the most important thing you can do in your life. You only get one body, and it needs attention.
Dangerous Shoulder Exercises
Have you ever suffered from shoulder discomfort after working out? I am referring to aching or sharp pain experienced in the front of the shoulder or lateral upper arm that is felt with overhead activities, reaching behind the back or even laying on the shoulder. These symptoms are often indicative of rotator cuff inflammation.
Unstable And Proud Of It! Power to the Push-Ups!
When I get finished teaching you this never-before-seen version of the push-up, you're going to think that either I'm crazy or a genius or both! Of course, the results you'll get from it will speak for themselves.First, we need to set the stage for this version of the push-up.
Get Out and Play: Top 7 Outdoor Exercises
Do you remember when our parents used to yell at us to go outside and play? They would get so tired of us running around the house munching junk food and fighting with our siblings that they would practically kick us out of the house!Well, we may not have the same child-like activities lined up to get outside for anymore, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't still get out and enjoy the world! Exercising outdoors has many benefits, and they include the following:- Little or no equipment needed to get a good workout- No crowded gyms or obnoxious people to put up with- No driving time to the local fitness facility- No need to put on makeup or special clothing to workout at the gym- Vitamin D enhancing sunshine for our skin- The ability to workout anytime, anywhere - even on vacation- Two words: Fresh AirThere are probably other reasons that you can think of why an outdoor workout would fit into your particular lifestyle, so now all you have to do is learn what kind of activities can be done outside.Refer to the following Top 7 list of exercises that are sure to leave you sweaty, worn out, and feeling great when it's all over!LUNGESLike all exercises, lunges should be done with absolutely perfect form.
5 Essential Walking Exercise Tips
Walking exercise is one of the easiest ways to get in shape and burn fat. In fact, mile for mile, you can burn as many calories walking as you would jogging.
Arthritis Exercise for All Levels
Exercise can be very beneficial for arthritis sufferers, often relieving stiffness in joints, strengthening muscles thereby reducing stress on joints, keeping bone and cartilage tissue strong and healthy, and increasing flexibility. A recommended 30-minute minimum of daily activity is the norm.
Best Flat Tummy Exercises for Great Female Abs
Are there flat tummy exercises that are the best for great female abs? Abs-olutely! To make this list, the female abs exercises must be safe, effective and can be done nearly anywhere. Your abs can be worked out every day.
Lose Weight - Stay Fit and Stick With It!
Health and nutrition experts continually advise us that the more we exercise the healthier we will be. In magazines, the doctor's office or on television we are never far from information showing us how to exercise, what to eat and how to lose weight.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.