December 12, 2011

Perils Of Exercise

"I want to reduce at least 10 kilos by the New Year's Eve,", told Reva. Tempted to wear that backless figure-hugging evening gown in olive green for the New Year party, Reva joined the gang of fitness freaks (read obsessed). She had never exercised in her life except running after her 2 small children, a compulsory exercise which all mothers do and the occasional walking now and then.

She purchased 2 good books on exercise and started vigorous aerobic exercises for 2 hours every day, besides jogging, skipping and, of course, dieting. Everyone complimented her on her determination.

woman measuring belly

After a month, her weighing machine showed a drop of 8 kg in her weight. "Wow! What an achievement!" she couldn't resist complimenting herself. For about a month, it was smooth sailing, as only her body knew the endless hours of physical torture. After that instead of feeling energetic and fresh after exercise, her body started aching. She could not take it any longer. Forget about aerobics, her backache did not allow her to do even household work. The doctor advised her complete bed-rest. As a result, she gained more than she had lost.

woman happy after losing weight
Whatever your age, exercise is a must for all, be it aerobics, jogging, walking, swimming or any other form of physical activity. Studies show that exercise on a regular basis does not just burn extra calories, it also helps make the metabolism more efficient and decreases the appetite.

Scientists also believe that exercise assists in keeping the endocrine system in good condition, which in turn keeps you feeling and looking youthful by a hormone essential to your skin and body.

Exercise also enhances the function of every organ by building up organ strength and stamina. It strengthens the immune system by increasing blood circulation which further helps all the bodily systems to receive more oxygen and nutrients.

Unfortunately, the road to good health has often been made to seem a cheerless pilgrimage. About exercising, the masochistic maxim has been, "If it hurts, it must be doing you good." About dieting, the advice has been, "If it tastes good, spit it out."

The commonly held belief that "unless you take your body into the pain zone, any exercise is futile" has been proved wrong. In their enthusiasm to be fit, people who are in a hurry generally overdo their enthusiasm. Truly, there are no shortcuts to achieve a good physique.

backbend strenous exercise
Do not do strenous exercise just by reading an elementary book on exercise & without proper guidance from an instructor.

Some suggestions for Fitness Freaks
  • If you are on the wrong side of 30 and have never indulged in any physical exercise, do consult your physician before taking up the challenge of fitness.
  • Instead of following exercises merely from a book, go to a trained instructor. The logic is that it is better not to do any exercise rather than doing it in a wrong manner. It can do you more harm than good. If you are not doing an exercise correctly, the instructor can correct you but not the book.
  • You may join a gym or have a yoga teacher for a few months. Once you reach a comfortable level, you may carry on your own.
  • There is a vast difference between being fit and being thin. A thin person may not be healthy in the true sense of the word. One may lose weight just by going on crash dieting. This way, one will not only lose weight but energy and stamina, too.
  • When you begin any exercise routine, you get slight body ache for a couple of days. Do not get dejected by this and carry on with it. This soreness subsides on its own, once your body becomes used to that exercise.
  • Do not do any exercise up to the limit of pain. Pain occurs when the muscle is pushed beyond capacity. stain beyond a level, can rupture the muscle. Recognise the difference between pain and soreness. Keenly observe your body while exercising and just stop before it starts paining. Stretch as much as you can and do it comfortably. Start a particular exercise with 8 counts and increases the counts day by day. Overexerting will only prove to be futile.
  • If any exercise causes undue discomfort or pain, stop doing that and when the pain subsides by any treatment, restart the exercise regime. This is especially so if the pain is due to the swelling or inflammation of joints, muscles or ligaments. Also, do not exercise if you are not feeling well.
  • Do not take any exercise as a drudgery. Enjoy it and experience the wave of relaxation and well-being arising from it. If you do not feel good, it means that either you are not doing it properly or your mind is somewhere else.
  • Wear loose clothes and comfortable shoes while exercising.
  • If possible, do the exercise in the open where there is a lot of fresh air as heart needs to supply additional blood and oxygen to various organs.
  • Early mornings and evenings are best suited for exercise. However if you wish to exercise any time of the day convenient to you, see to it that nothing solid should be eaten at least 2 hours before the exercise.
Warm up and cool down
  • It is advisable not to start exercises immediately after getting up in the morning. Allow some time for limbering up the body and muscles by general walking and strolling. As you wake up, your muscles are too stiff and you might injure them by sudden movements and jerks.
  • Before doing strenuous exercises, do some light exercises for a warm-up. Like before jogging you walk and stretch your arms and legs for a while. In the same manner, cooling down after the exercise is as important as warm-up before exercise. However it's not yet clear whether this stretching thing is actually useful.
  • As exercise increases the heartbeat, do not sit or lie down immediately after an exercise session, but indulge yourself in some or the other household work, or simply walk around to bring your heartbeat to normal.
  • Do not have unrealistic targets. Since each one is different, our bodies are different, a particular exercise may not suit you and give you a backache, whereas others may be quite comfortable on it.
  • So, there is no need for comparison. Do not be in a hurry. Aim at achieving your target slowly but effectively. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
Also read:
(Guest Post by Rina)

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  1. Fitness Freak4:04 PM

    Heart patients have to be more careful; especially they shouldn't do strenuous exercises. Strenuous exercises sometimes lead to heart attack and sudden death.

  2. Exercise can put a big strain on your purse if you join a gym. Gyms charge exorbitant will lose more money than weight.

  3. Anonymous4:20 PM

    Aerobic exercises such as running & jogging carry a high risk of injury, especially for older people. People with certain medical conditions are more at a risk of cardiovascular problems and orthopedic problems. In 2009, French President Nicolas Sarkozy collapsed after almost an hour of of intense physical activity like jogging.

  4. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Vigorous exercise and heavy workouts may lead to early menopause.


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