Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why Workout? Exercise Wisdom to Get You Moving

Why Workout? Exercise Wisdom to Get You Moving

Your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints are a complex lever and pulley system that allows for every movement you make, from simple things such as drinking a glass of water or sitting up in a chair, to the more complex movements performed in dance or participation in sports. Every activity you do utilizes this system. To keep it working optimally, you need to perform a variety of movements regularly; the best way to accomplish that is through a structured exercise program.

You may have launched into an exercise routine, only to give up after the first few weeks. It took too much time, too much energy, and you were too sore or tired after your workouts to continue. Sound familiar? These problems, though painful and disheartening, are the direct result of how you were working out. The greatest mistake people make when they start a fitness program is in working out too much, too long, or too hard. Fitness, like most achievements, is best built by starting out small and adding gradually.

Consider this; none of us were born fit, we were born helpless unable to even hold our heads up. By attempting to move a little more each day, we grew and developed and, through time and effort, became stronger. Before long we were able to lift our heads, roll over, sit up, and crawl. Eventually, we learned to walk and then run. We all started helpless then increased what we could do daily until we had much greater movement ability than when we started.

This is because the human body is designed to adapt. At any point in your life, at any age, you can increase your fitness level by following the principle of applying small, increasing physical demands and allowing your body to adapt. When you ask your body to perform a new physical activity, it responds by altering its physical structure to meet those demands—just as it did when you were a developing baby. This is true of any kind of physical activity from learning to type on the keyboard, to learning to throw a Frisbee, to learning to climb a mountain. In response to physical training, your muscles (including that all-important heart muscle) develop their strength. So also do your connective tissues, your ligaments and tendons, and your bones.

On the opposite side, your body adapts to a lack of physical activity. Your body will not maintain what it does not use. Muscle tissue is metabolically active and burns more calories, even at rest, than non-metabolically active tissue such as stored body fat. Because of this, muscle tissue is seen as ‘costly’ to maintain; it takes up more available nutrients and calories than other tissues. Your body is incredibly efficient; it will not maintain what it does not need. If you aren’t participating in a regular exercise program to keep your muscles strong and healthy, then your body will burn them so it does not have to use valuable resources to keep them. If you lead a sedentary life that does not involve using your muscles regularly, over time, all your unused muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones will become weaker.

This why exercise a critical part of a healthy weight loss program. Through your workouts, you develop a strong, balanced musculature, and thicker tendons and bones. This makes your lever and pulley system healthier so all your movements become easier.
In addition, when combined with healthy eating habits, your muscles aid you in loosing weight by burning stored body fat during your workouts and also during your recovery periods. The more muscle tissue you have, the more stored body fat you are able to burn, even at rest.

A well-rounded workout program will include two important styles of exercise: Cardio/Respiratory exercise (more commonly known as aerobics); and Strength Conditioning (the most common form of which is weight training.) Aim to participate in 3 sessions of Cardio exercise and 2 sessions of all-body Strength Conditioning each week.

For more information on Cardio, go here:

For more information on Strength Conditioning, go here:

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