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WELLNESS: EXERCISE GUIDELINES

 

Appropriate Exercise

For many, exercise is regarded as inconvenient and even painful. Appropriate exercise however can be relaxing and fun. Exercise promotes energy, mental clarity, health, strength, physique, and wellbeing.

Overexertion in exercise can be damaging, not only to the body, but in the production of excessive oxidation. This is the reason that one often feels sluggish well after initial recovery.

 

Types of Fitness Exercise

There are several types of exercise:

  • Aerobic or Cardiac exercise building strength in both the heart and lungs
  • Anaerobic exercise which is more focused on strength, endurance and flexibility
  • Stretching Exercises

Yoga – in its many forms takes surprising strength with benefits to the mind, body, and spirit. It can improve posture, mental clarity, flexibility, immunity, physique, weight, mood, and overall wellbeing.

Pilates – a derivative from yoga uses continuous movement rather than the held yoga poses and focuses the breathing in a different region.

Isometrics - an exercise program of intense muscle contractions designed to signal the muscle to grow and strengthen. Ideal for sports such as skiing that require consistent positioning of the body.

Breathing – yes, there is strong evidence on the power of learning to breathe correctly. It is said that the mind follows the breath; if you are short of breath, it will be difficult the think clearly. Correct breathing optimises oxygen intake and focuses the mind.

A good exercise plan incorporates a range of muscle building and cardiac exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week.

 

Exercise Plans

Ideally, incorporating one form of the above exercise each day is ideal, but 4-5 weeks is sufficient to maintain a good program.

This does not mean pounding pavements or going to the gym. A well balanced program can be maintained at home using a combination of free weights, yoga, pilates and exercise videos for aerobic routines.

Gym equipment certainly does have its value, but if you have neither the space or the financial resources, there are many alternatives available.

Alternate your exercise between aerobic and anerobic – both systems benefit from the rest and results actually improve when the body is given sufficient time to recover.

Don’t overdo it – elevating your heart rate beyond the level which the body can manage both the additional blood flow and the increase in oxidation is dangerous and counter-productive.

Take care of your joints – it has amazed me how many 40 year olds are now having knee replacements, and hip replacements are no longer just for elderly. An indication of our fast paced, over energetic lifestyles, perhaps?

Always cool down after exercise for 5-10 minutes. This helps the body deal with the build up of toxic lactic acids and for systems to return to normal levels of functioning. Don’t jump straight into a hot shower after vigorous exercise.

Avoid eating one hour either side of exercise; juice smoothies, protein shakes, alkaline drinks etc can be consumed within about 30 minutes and depending upon the ingredients can be beneficial in helping the body to deal with the additional toxins and acids released during exercise.

 

Breathing

Correct breathing is often overlooked as an exercise in itself. Done correctly, breathing exercise provides benefits associated with yoga; balancing the mind, body, and spirit. We are often not aware of how we are breathing, stress often induces short shallow breathes, and sometime holding the breath completely. This reduces the oxygen in the blood and makes us tired and jumpy. Thus, whilst poor breathing is not the cause of anxiety or stress, good breathing can initiate mental and physical responses to reduce them.

Breathing is a time tested and proven method of improving mood, energy, awareness, consciousness, health, vitality, and removing the ailments caused by mental and physical restlessness.

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NEXT: Your Exercise Personality

Exercise Index | Benefits | Body Type | Guidelines | Personality | Aerobic | Anaerobic | Compound | Fat Burning | Body Shaping | The Core | Weight Training | Stretching | Troubleshooting | Cooldown

 
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