bookmark_borderRecovery From Exercise

Cool-down

After exhaustive exercise, don’t stop and rest immediately. You can speed up the removal of lactic acid from your muscles by continuing to exercise at a low intensity for 10-20 minutes. Cooling down can help reduce the feeling of stiffness that often occurs after a workout and is especially important if your next training session or event is scheduled a few hours later.

Stretch

Static stretching before exercise puts you at risk for damaging the very tissues you are trying to protect and as such should be avoided. Research has shown that stretching causes lengthening of the tendinous fibers within the muscle-tendon unit. Such lengthening causes the tendon (or passive) component to lose much of its shock absorbency, thus, placing the muscle fibers at greater risk of trauma. However, stretching after exercise may help minimize muscle soreness and may even help prevent future soft tissue injuries. Thus, before activity, more active-type stretching routines that promote range of motion and increased blood flow are recommended. Conversely, after exercise, the emphasis should be on passive or static stretching to allow the muscles to relax and return to their resting lengths.

Carbohydrates

The muscles are primed for quick restoration of their carbohydrate fuel reserves (glycogen) immediately after exercise, so don’t wait too long to start eating foods and drinking beverages rich in carbohydrate. Fruits, energy bars, and sports drinks all contain large amounts of carbohydrate. From a nutrition standpoint, post-exercise is one of the only times where you want to be consuming high-glycemic index foods for they will stimulate a quicker release of insulin and, thus, carbohydrate storage in the muscles. Ideally, these fuels should be consumed as quickly as possible upon finishing your exercise session.

Protein

Most forms of exercise lead to the breakdown of proteins within the muscles. This breakdown-repair process stimulates the muscles to rebuild and become stronger. Moreover, some of our muscle proteins continue to be broken down during the recovery phase after exercise. For a faster buildup of muscle proteins during recovery, include a small amount of protein in the foods you eat. Milk, cheese, eggs, whey protein shakes, sandwiches, nuts (almonds, walnuts) and energy bars provide carbohydrate and protein. Look for easily digestible protein sources (such as the ones listed above) following strenuous exercise. Avoid saturated fats.

Fluids

Replacing lost fluid is crucial to the recovery process. Having adequate fluids within your body promotes the removal of toxins and waste from your muscles. Top off your supply of fluids by drinking before exercise, continue to hydrate every 15 or 20 minutes during a workout, and replace any body weight lost during exercise by drinking while you recover. Remember, 1 L of water is equivalent to 1 kg of body weight. Therefore, if the difference between your pre- and post-exercise weight is 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) you would want to rehydrate with 1.5 L of water to bring your body fluid back to homeostasis. Before, during, and after exercise, the rule of thumb is that if you’re thirsty, it’s too late! Therefore, be sure to have a water bottle throughout the day to sip on. On a daily basis (at rest), the number of ounces of water you should be consuming should equal half of your body weight (in lbs). Thus, if you weigh 200 lbs, then you want to be drinking 100 ounces of water (almost 3 L).

Salt

Your body loses water and minerals – mostly sodium chloride, some potassium – when you sweat. Drinking water alone during exercise and recovery will make it difficult to replace body fluids rapidly because much of it will pass through the kidneys to become urine. Replace the salt along with the water to counteract dehydration. If you have to compete again within a few hours, consider sports drinks that contain water, sodium chloride, or fruits such as bananas which are high in potassium. Add extra salt to foods at mealtime if you are susceptible to cramps. Consider using condiments, sports drinks, and fitness waters instead of salt tablets.

Damage Control

Inflammation, swelling, and muscle soreness are possibilities following strenuous exercise. To minimize the effects, consider cold packs around joint areas, alternating cold and hot whirlpool baths, and the use of specially designed magnets to speed the recovery process. Light massage is also a good option for promoting toxin removal from the tissues and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A study by Hilbert et al. showed that a 20 minute massage 2 hours following exercise helped to reduce the intensity of soreness 48 hours post-exercise in subjects who underwent 6 sets of maximal eccentric hamstring contractions. Minimize foot contact with the ground. Engage in light activities that increase blood flow while not taxing the nervous system. Swimming, cycling, walking, and light jogs are alternatives, but minimize foot contact with the ground.

bookmark_borderAerobic Exercise

Strength training helps improve your muscle tone and the strength of the various muscle groups that you exercise. This is important in any overall fitness program. Muscle strength allows you to more easily perform many everyday tasks. One of the muscles that is strengthened during strength training is the heart muscle. The heart is the most important muscle in the body. But, strength training is not the best form of exercise for strengthening the heart. Aerobic exercise is.

When aerobic exercise is done properly, it increases both the strength and the efficiency of your heart. As I said earlier, the heart is the most important muscle in the body. The pumping of the heart keeps oxygen and nutrients going to all the various parts of the body. Without this supply mechanism, we can not survive.

The newest information from the American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM) indicates that aerobic exercise sessions as short as 10 minutes in duration can help you to improve the strength of your heart. To be effective, the ACSM says that this kind of exercise has to increase your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum heart rate. And, if you do these short duration sessions, you should try to do at least two to three sessions per day.

As is the case with all forms of exercise, a lot of people say that they can’t find the time to do aerobic exercise on a regular basis. It can be a challenge, but the real key is to find exercises that you enjoy and can fit into your schedule. This isn’t as difficult as you might think. Realizing that you can do aerobic exercise sessions as short as 10 minutes should make it easier to fit these sessions into your schedule. Now, try to think of all the different kinds of aerobic exercises that you enjoy and will fit in with your lifestyle. This may take some creativity, but it might be easier than you expect.

Here are some forms of aerobic exercise that you might want to consider: walking, jogging, running, biking, exercise bike, swimming, jump rope, dancing, jazzercise, aerobic dance, skipping, jumping jacks, cross country skiing, ice skating, elliptical trainer, stair climbing, or any other kind of exercise that will raise your heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum and keep it there for at least 10 minutes. Remember that you don’t have to do the same exercise each time. You can “mix and match” different forms of exercise, which in some circles is referred to as “cross training”. As an example, you could walk the dog (briskly) for 15 minutes after he does his thing in the morning, at lunch you could spend 10 minutes climbing the stairwell in your office building, and after work you could spend 15 minutes on the exercise bike in the corner of your family room while you watch the evening news. Doing the math and putting this together gives you 40 minutes of acceptable aerobic exercise for one day. Now, that wasn’t too hard was it?

All you have to do is think about the different parts of your life and decide where and what you can do to fit some aerobic exercise into the things you already do. Remember, a complete exercise program is ideal. But, if you don’t think you can fit it all in, try to figure out creative ways to at least include 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in your daily routine. Say yes to aerobic exercise.

bookmark_borderAbout Anaerobic Exercise

Well, how’s this for answer: any kind. That’s right, anything that is high intensity over a short period of time will do. You could do some weight training or maybe sprinting while you take your daily jog or swim laps. Don’t let the idea of weight training scare you. You don’t need to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment if you want to try weight training. You can do a complete weight training circuit with only a couple of dumbbells right in your own home.

Circuits are especially effective to burning fat because they combine aspects of both strength and endurance training into one, highly targeted, set of exercises. This type of training is highly effective in making your muscles stronger and more fit, meaning you’ll be less susceptible to injury over the long run. Circuit training is generally not used when trying to build muscle mass, but remember you’re not necessarily trying to build a ton of muscle, just lose fat.

Always remember to give yourself a day of rest in between whatever anaerobic exercises you decide to do. It’s very important that you give your muscles time to rest, not doing so can result in injury. Also be sure that you sufficiently stretch before any kind of exercise. For some reason this is something that many people neglect, even though anyone who’s ever been in a PE class knows how important this is for avoiding injuries.

bookmark_borderAdvantage Of Cheap Exercise Ideas

It’s funny when I think about it, but I’m not really gung-ho about the “almighty gym pass membership” spiel. I don’t want to attend a fitness center four or five days a week. I would much rather find some cheap exercise equipment and go from there. Believe it or not this is an option. The thing I dislike about the local gym is all the sharing. I don’t have time to drive to a location, find a parking space, go workout, and then drive back home. Not to mention someone may be using the equipment you had planned to. Instead of doing all that work, I can simply step down into my basement or out into my garage for a cheap exercise routine.

When I say cheap, I mean I purchased the used equipment just once and now I have it for life. This route is incomparable to the gym membership deal. I don’t end up signing a lame contract or forking out monthly payments [http://healthcare-resource-guide.com/health/healthcare/important-guide-to-finding-affordable-health-insurance.html]. Get this; I own a used weight bench, a jump rope, two 35 pound dumbbells, two 40 pound dumbbells, and 300 pounds of plate weights with a bench press barbell. This is it. I accomplish so much with this cheap exercise equipment. I got it all for under 300 bucks. Plus it’s all good quality. Furthermore, I use the stair wells in my home for leg and cardio routines. If you have a staircase, then you’ve got a cheap exercise routine waiting to happen.

So much hard-earned money is wasted on over-priced equipment and gym memberships. You can avoid so much of this if you just think about it. Jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, dips, running and more can all be accomplished for free. No one ever said you have to be rich to get in shape. Just resourceful. Take advantage of your cheap exercise ideas.

bookmark_borderEating Before and After Exercise

Whether you are going to be doing a cardio workout or a resistance workout, you should try to make it a point to eat a mix of carbohydrates and protein. What determines the percentage of carbohydrates and protein you should consume is whether you are doing cardio or resistance and the intensity level you will be working at.

The ideal time to eat your pre workout meal is 1 hour before you start. If you are working at a lower intensity level, keep this meal down to around 200 calories or so. If you are working at a higher intensity level, you may need this meal to be as high as 400 to 500 calories.

If you are doing a cardio session, you will need to eat a mix of around 2/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein. This will give you longer sustained energy from the extra carbs with enough protein to keep muscle from breaking down during your workout.

If you are doing a resistance session, you should eat a mix of around 1/3 carbohydrates and 2/3 protein. This will give you enough energy from the carbs to perform each set you do and the extra protein will help keep muscle breakdown to a minimum during your workout. It has been shown that your body most effectively uses protein during exertion meaning that taking in more protein before resistance workouts aids in faster recovery as well.

Now, eating after a workout is just as important as the pre workout meal. Remember that when you exercise whether it is a cardio or a resistance session, you deplete energy in the form of glycogen. Our brain and central nervous system relies on glycogen as their main source of fuel so if we don’t replace it after exercise, our bodies will begin to break down muscle tissue into amino acids, then convert them into usable fuel for the brain and central nervous system.

Also, mostly during resistance workouts, you break down muscle tissue by creating micro tears. This means that right after a workout; your muscles go into a repair mode. Proteins are the key macronutrient for muscle repair and so you don’t want muscle breaking down further to create fuel in place of lost glycogen.

If you have just finished a cardio session, you will need to consume mostly carbohydrates, preferably ones with high fiber. Oatmeal, rice, whole wheat pasta, and most northern fruits are good sources. Try to consume around 30 to 50 grams of these carbohydrates after a cardio session. After cardio, it is OK to eat within 5 to 10 minutes of completion.

If you have just finished a resistance session, you will need a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Because unlike cardio workouts, with resistance workouts you are breaking down muscle tissue by creating micro tears. The protein is needed to build up and repair these tears so the muscle can increase in size and strength. The carbs not only replace the lost muscle glycogen, but also help the protein get into our muscle cells so it can synthesize into structural protein, or muscle itself.

Chicken or fish with a potato, egg whites with a piece of fruit, or a protein shake with fruit mixed in are good meals after resistance workouts but remember to keep the fiber low here. High fiber slows down digestion, meaning the protein will take longer to reach the muscle cells.

After resistance, it is recommended to wait 30 minutes before eating so as not to take blood away from your muscles too soon. The blood in your muscles helps with the repair process by removing metabolic waste products from them.

bookmark_borderBenefits of Little Exercise

Additionally, many studies suggest that people who have applied more efficient mechanisms for burning fat are able to stay slim & fit. Here are some tips to go along well with exercise & weight loss:

  • Brisk workouts are not sure shot methods to burn great numbers of calories immediately. Slow and gradual exercises elevate the metabolism that lasts for few minutes after light exercise & for several hours after heavy exercise. So, frequent light exercise or physical activity is more effective than strenuous exercise done once.
  • Fidgeting is another trick to keep your pounds off. There is no comparison for regular exercise, but for people with deskbound jobs, frequently shifting positions while sitting is beneficial.
  • The treadmill has turned out to be the most helpful & standard aerobic machines to burn the calories. Short multiple bouts with treadmill or frequent exercise sessions of 10 minutes in a day are found to be most effective weight loss program for obese people.
  • Exercise enriches one’s psychological well being and replaces sedentary habits that usually lead to unnecessary eating. Some studies have shown that exercise may even act as a mild appetite suppressant. People who do regular exercise are apt to remain on a diet plan.
  • oResistance, or strength, training does an excellent job in weight loss. If it is integrated with balanced diet & regular exercise, it works exceptionally by replacing fat with muscles.
  • People on weight loss regimen should be self motivated & aware of the common phenomenon of weight loss. As one gets to slimming down, the rate of losing weight & burning of calories may reduce. Thus, one should keep on exercising regularly without getting discouraged.
  • People approaching old age must exercise regularly to keep off the same amount of weight.

bookmark_borderCardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular fitness promotes the loss of body fat and has been reported to actually decrease the appetite in many individuals. However, even if it doesn’t reduce appetite, the calorie-burning effects of regular aerobic exercise can allow for substantial caloric intake. Many endurance athletes regularly consume between 3,000-5,000 calories per day and remain extremely lean. Cardiovascular training, when combined with a sensible diet, will definitely promote an increase in lean body tissue and a decrease in body fat percentage.

The skeletal system can be strengthened by weight-bearing activities such as fast walking and jogging. This can not only assist in reducing the risk for developing osteoporosis, it can also help to slow down the progress of the disease for those whose doctors recommend exercise.

Aerobic exercise is often part of treatment programs for diabetics whose blood sugar is well controlled. This is due to the fact that aerobic training increases the sensitivity of the cells to insulin so diabetics who exercise regularly require less insulin to effectively regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, studies have shown that persons with adult-onset diabetes have been able to significantly reduce or eliminate medications other than insulin by following a regular exercise program combined with a healthy diet.

Cardiovascular exercise is often a major component of the therapy for those who have suffered a heart attack and for those who are at high risk for coronary artery disease. Three of the primary risk factors for developing coronary artery disease are high blood pressure (hypertension), smoking and high blood cholesterol. Cardiovascular exercise can play a significant role in reducing risk associated with these three factors.

First of all, many people with high blood pressure are also overweight. Regular sessions of aerobic exercise will reduce body fat and lower blood pressure. Secondly, many people who smoke find the incentive to quit after embarking upon an aerobic exercise program. Thirdly, regular, brisk, cardiovascular training leads to an increase in the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the “good” cholesterol.

Those with arthritis can benefit from aerobic exercise to help them maintain an ideal body weight. Therapy programs for arthritis sufferers should also include appropriate exercises to help maintain joint range of motion. This can be incorporated into an overall exercise program that includes cardiovascular exercise.

Cardiovascular exercise has also been shown to decrease clinical symptoms of anxiety, tension and depression. Regular aerobic workouts increase blood flow and assists the body in eliminating toxins which can make a person feel better.

On a physiological level, cardiovascular fitness decreases resting heart rate and increase heart volume. It increases maximum oxygen consumption, capillary density and blood flow to active muscles. It also increases total blood volume, allows for maximal ventilation and increases lung diffusion capacity.