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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Benefits of Exercise

We know the benefits of exercise. For one thing, it will make us feel better. Oh, not at the start, I admit. For all the things we have to do each day, what time is there left for exercise? But then, just think. Once you incorporate exercise in your daily routine, it gets easier and that's when you feel better.

In addition, exercise is our hope to reverse the destructive effects of the inactive lifestyle we have grown accustomed to. It will contribute weight loss and then our response to insulin will get better and have cardiovascular conditioning to boot.

There are two types of exercise. They are strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Strength training is what they call anaerobic exercise which is of high intensity that makes one breathe hard and increases the heart and blood pressure. So although this burns calories, this is not for us especially at the start of our exercise program.

So it looks like cardiovascular conditioning is what we will focus on first. This is an aerobic exercise that uses large muscles and are of reasonable force to the point that one can still talk to somebody while doing the exercise. Walking, rowing, swimming, and bike riding fall under this category.

A personalized exercise prescription will enable one to get the correct amount of exercise as it will consider the following items:

  • Type of exercise

  • Length of exercise

  • Number of occurrence

  • Intensity of exercise

The type or mode of exercise involves free-moving and large muscle movement. It could be walking either on land or treadmill, biking on land or stationary bike, rowing either in a boat or machine, swimming and cross-country skiing.

Length of time of exercise is for thirty minutes or more each time. Number of occurrence is usually at least three times a week and at the start, not on consecutive days. It is good to build up on this first thirty minutes a day by starting for ten minutes, adding ten minutes at a time until one has the full thirty minutes.

As for intensity, for most people, start with light exercise at a relaxed pace. One can continue talking while exercising and feels like he can go on and on. When this starts to feel too easy, one can graduate to a higher intensity which is a good indication that one is making progress.

This type of exercise will help control the weight and lower the risk for diabetes. One may then want to add some anaerobic strengthening exercise such as lifting light weights (two to four pounds). One can lift these weights above the head a number of times and then increase the repetitions until one gets to a set of twenty repetitions.

Once one reaches five sets of repetitions, then increasing the weights can be considered like from three pounds to four pounds. But there are safety tips to consider. Before starting to graduate to any level, one will have to consult with his doctor as there may be personal issues, for example with people with heart disease. That is what I will blog on in the next issue. Please visit the following site for the disclaimer and more information:

Free Diabetes Alert
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