Strength of exercises
Exercises that build strength are essential for several reasons. First they help to build muscles.
Muscles help to burn fat and are great cushions for the joints and bones, helping to prevent both major and minor injury in your daily life.
Exercising your muscles to exhaustion can stimulate the release of human growth hormone which, among other things, is responsible for increasing muscle and decreasing fat in your body.
Strength building exercises can also stimulate your body to build stronger bones, helping prevent osteoporosis in later life.
The one fundamental principle you need to remember when you exercise is given enough time your body will adapt.
Simply no need to put your body under enormous pressure to become fit. Exercise should be enjoyable and you can achieve an almost super human level of fitness simply by building up gradually.
More importantly you have given your muscles, joints etc. time to grow stronger without stressing them unnecessarily.
Most people can run for just one minute without stress but if this is difficult for you, you could start by running for just ten seconds at a time every day and increase by just ten seconds every day or every week.
Increasing by ten seconds a day you would still be able to run for 50 minutes within a year but at worse imagine someone so unfit they can only run for ten seconds a day and increase by ten seconds running a week.
To be fit and stay fit follow a diet and exercise program for more than three weeks and the chance of staying on that program increases remarkably.
Every exercise program should start with warm ups then stretches. If you follow a yoga practice or tai chi this is perfect.
Five to fifteen minutes of warming up and stretching or yoga type exercises is a good start.
To lose fat from the body we need to exercise at a moderate intensity - hard enough to raise the heart rate but gentle enough so you can still speak without gasping - and you need to keep doing that for 25 minutes to an hour.
The body begins to burn fat after around 20 minutes of aerobic exercise. Walking or gentle running works fine for most people.
Do not exercise for longer than an hour. Once you exercise for longer than an hour at moderate intensity or higher your body begins to break down muscle which you should avoid.
The two best times to exercise are in the morning before you eat anything substantial and around 6 hours before you plan on going to sleep.
Exercising first thing in the morning increases your metabolism for the rest of your day making you more alert, helps to burn fat and affects your appetite and wellbeing in a positive way.
More important than when you exercise is that you do some exercise sometime during the day. If you are looking to become really fit you could exercise twice a day but respect your body’s limits.
The two greatest enemies of physical fitness are injury and illness. Both these will halt your progress.So, build up slowly.
Basic Five Strength Exercise
Lie on your back with your knees up and the soles of your feet on your exercise mat. Now lift your upper torso to an angle of about thirty degrees. It is not necessary or desirable to sit up vertically. Keep you neck relaxed. Return to your starting position and repeat.Over a period of a few months you should build up to 100 crunches.
2.Leg raises (on your side).
Lying on your side with your legs straight and extended lift up the top leg as high as you comfortably can.
Return to your starting position and repeat. After a set number of repetitions roll onto the other side of your body and repeat the exercise with your other leg.
Most people can do twenty or thirty repetitions with each leg from day one. Over time build up to 50 repetitions for each leg.
If you are not particularly strong yet start this exercise with your palms down on the floor, arms straight and your knees on your exercise mat.
Let your elbows push out and drop your upper torso so your face ends up an inch from the floor.
Return to the starting position by pushing up with your arms.
With a bit more strength you can do the full push up with your weight balanced on your toes instead of your knees.
Over a period of months you will build up to 100 push ups either full strength or balanced on your knees. Either is adequate.
4.Leg raises (on your back).
Lie on your back with your legs extended.
Keeping your legs as straight as possible lift them to a position at right angles to your torso.
Return to your starting position with your legs horizontal but do not let your heels touch your exercise mat.
Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart.
Now bending at the knees squat down till your upper legs are almost at right angles to your lower legs. Keep your back comfortably straight.
Return to the starting position standing vertically.
Again you will work up to 100 repetitions of this exercise over a period of months.