EXERCISE AND YOUR HEALTH: Develop the ability to stay in shape
by daniel vicencio
Exercise is a scheduled physical activity, which must be performed repetitively to develop or stay in shape; and physical fitness is the ability to perform it. To get in shape, people need to exercise regularly. Exercise strengthens the heart, enabling it to pump more blood with each beat, thus increasing the maximum oxygen capacity the body can obtain and use.
In addition, exercise benefits the body in many other ways, stretching can increase flexibility, exercises with weights strengthen bones, help prevent osteoporosis, and help prevent constipation. Exercising is also helpful in avoiding and controlling some forms of diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and reducing anxiety, body fat, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) values, which is harmful in excessive amounts in the bloodstream. Physical exercise benefits people of all ages. It can strengthen the weak muscles of the elderly who live in nursing homes allowing them to maintain their maximum oxygen intake; while inactivity, rather than aging itself, is the main cause of the deterioration of physical capacity in older people.
The benefits of exercise are lost as soon as a person interrupts exercise. The strength of the heart and muscles decreases, along with the value of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) that make up good cholesterol. Blood pressure and body fat increase as well. Even athletes who stop exercising do not maintain measurable positive results in the long term. Compared to those who have never exercised, they do not have a greater capacity to perform physical activities or lower risks of heart attacks, nor a greater response to exercise.
When we start a physical activity and as the physical condition improves, a person should be able to exercise longer without feeling muscle pain or discomfort. Once the person can exercise comfortably for 10 consecutive minutes, they should train on alternate days, gradually increasing the time spent on continuous exercise to 30 minutes. To achieve and maintain a good physical condition, the person needs to exercise only 30 minutes, three times a week. Improvement comes from tensing the muscles and letting them recover, not from exercising them every day: as it is important to exercise, it is also important to alternate rest days. This has a very important result, preventing injuries and improving the strengthening of musculoskeletal structures: when the muscles heal, they are stronger. Any exercise that increases blood circulation through the heart improves fitness. The safest exercises are:
Walking - It is ideal at a fast pace, thus activating movements that strengthen the legs, from hip, knees, and feet. Accompanied by short swinging of the arms, it helps to obtain speed in the coordination of all the movements of upper and lower limbs and also strengthens the joints involved in this type of exercise.
Swimming - Exercises your whole body. Legs, arms and back, without straining joints or muscles. Swimming is recommended for people with joint and muscle problems, favoring one of the most important axes of our body, the spine.
Pedaling - Cycling is a good exercise. It strengthens the upper muscles of the legs helping to support our body itself. It helps strengthen a person's ability to maintain balance.
Aerobic exercise - Offered in many places as a popular way to exercise, it favors the whole body. People can do it at their own pace, with the guidance of expert instructors.
Skiing – It exercises the upper body and legs. Requires more coordination than most other exercises, and it is more demanding for some people who are limited to practicing it.
Rowing machines - They strengthen the long muscles of the legs, shoulders and back, and help protect the back from various injuries, but they are not recommended for people with back problems.
When you manage to train easily for 30 minutes, you can try a different exercise program.
Source: Merck HandbookofHome Medical Information
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