Exercise is a term used to refer to any activity involving movement or exertion. Exercise can be defined as: (1) the act of moving from one place to another; (2) the state of being moved or exerted; and (3) anything that involves such movement or exertion.
The definition above shows how exercise differs from other activities. Other activities may involve some sort of movement or exertion while exercise requires the user to move in certain ways.
For example, lifting weights involves the use of your muscles and using them to produce force against resistance. If you are doing weightlifting, then it is not necessarily an exercise. However, if you lift weights because you want to lose weight or improve your health, then it would qualify as an exercise.
Another way to define exercise is to say that it involves the use of your body parts. You could do a variety of exercises like running, jumping rope, swimming, cycling and so forth.
Some types of exercise require different muscle groups than others. For example, you cannot run unless you have good legs. You also need to be in good physical condition.
There are three major types of exercises. They are anaerobic, aerobic and isometric exercises.
Anaerobic exercises do not require the aid of oxygen for energy production. It gets its energy by another process called glycolysis (or the breakdown of glycogen to lactic acid).
During this process lactic acid will accumulate and help to produce the energy needed for the muscle contraction. Anaerobic exercises last between 30 seconds to around 4 minutes. An example of an anaerobic exercise is weight lifting.
Aerobic exercises, on the other hand, are those that use oxygen to produce energy. The process of getting oxygen to the muscles and using it to produce energy is called oxidative metabolism.
During this process, lactic acid is broken down and cannot cause muscle fatigue. During an aerobic exercise, the muscles use oxygen to produce energy. During this process, water and carbon dioxide are also released as by-products. An example of an aerobic exercise is running a mile or two.
Isometric exercises are those that involve static contractions of muscles. It is called static because the joint or joints do not move while you are holding a weight or against an immovable object.
These exercises also involve the production of lactic acid and is the reason why you get tired during such exercises.
Exercise or Training – which is better? What are the benefits of each of these?
Aerobic and anaerobic exercises are both good for you. One of the benefits to aerobic exercise is that it helps to improve your body’s ability to transport oxygen throughout your body. It can also help to promote fat loss. It does this by increasing the size and efficiency of your heart and blood vessels. It can also increase your body’s ability to utilize oxygen.
Aerobic exercises are usually of shorter duration and can be of high or low impact. Besides burning fat, they also strengthen your bones and reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
A good example is running.
Anaerobic exercises are great if you want to build strength and muscle. They can also be beneficial if you’re looking to increase athletic ability in a particular sport.
An example would be sprinting.
Isometric exercises are usually static holds of particular muscle groups. They increase your muscle strength without adding mass.
It’s important to know that you shouldn’t over-do isometric exercises.
The human body was not designed to only move in certain ways or to be in static positions for long periods of time. It was designed to MOVE!
The more you can get your body to move in dynamic ways, the better it will be for you.
Now that you have an understanding of the benefits of exercise and how they relate to you, pick an aerobic and an anaerobic exercise that you would like to do. Be sure to consult your physician and make sure that you are physically able to participate in these exercises.
Also, try to set some goals for yourself. For example, if you want to lose weight, set a goal of how much weight you want to lose and by when. The more challenging your goals, the more they will motivate you to achieve them.
You may also want to try different types of exercises. As you get more involved in a particular type of exercise, you may find that it no longer provides you with the same benefits.
This may be because your body has become used to that exercise. As a result, you may want to try something new. Also, keep in mind that the manner in which you exercise will also determine how beneficial it is for your body.
For example, if you decide to run on a daily basis, you’ll want to make sure that you vary your running route. If you always run down the same road, your body will soon adapt to that level of activity.
This can limit the benefits that running provides. If you run on a more varied terrain, it will challenge different muscles and this will provide more overall benefits to your body.
Also, be sure to give your body adequate time to rest in between exercise sessions. You may want to vary the days of the week that you exercise as well.
As you can see, exercise is just one of the factors that you can do to improve your overall health. While it is important to engage in physical activity, it should only be one component of a healthy lifestyle.
Eating a proper diet (with plenty of vegetables and fruits) can go a long way in helping your body to function at its peak performance. Getting plenty of rest will also give your body time to heal and recover from everyday life.
Also, be sure to keep your mind active with activities that challenge you mentally. As you know from the lecture on the brain, the brain is a very powerful organ.
It can help you accomplish great things if you take advantage of it. One way to take advantage of it, is to provide it with a stimulating environment. Just as a plant will wilt away and die if it isn’t given enough light, your brain won’t be able to reach its full potential without proper stimulation.
So, keep these things in mind as you go through life. Make exercise and a healthy lifestyle a priority.
Remember, your body is your most important vehicle for achieving your goals in life. Without your body, you can’t do anything at all.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Training to self-care: fitness tracking, biopedagogy and the healthy consumer by CK Sen – Journal of applied physiology, 1995 – journals.physiology.org
“Tuning into one’s self:” Foucault’s technologies of the self and mindful fitness by CJ Lavie, RJ Thomas, RW Squires, TG Allison… – Mayo Clinic …, 2009 – Elsevier
Do antioxidant supplements interfere with skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training? by A Fotopoulou, K O’Riordan – Health Sociology Review, 2017 – Taylor & Francis
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