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vital: Three steps to fitness; Powerhouse fitness.co.uk THE SECRET TO EFFICIENT EXERCISE IS TARGETING THE MAIN AREAS WHICH COMBINE TO CREATE OVERALL FITNESS LEVELS.

THIS week we are going to talk about the three main forms of exercise - Aerobic, Anaerobic and Stretching exercises.

Each of these corresponds to the three different elements - strength, endurance and flexibility, which go together to make up your overall fitness. I amgoing to explain how they differ from each other.

AEROBIC EXERCISE:

Promotes both endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

Activities tend to be long in duration and work both the muscles required to sustain movement and the whole cardiovascular system - the job of which is to oxygenate and circulate energy-bearing blood.

With increased aerobic conditioning, the lungs become better at taking oxygen in and the heart and blood vessels become better at diverting it to the muscles. Running is the quintessential aerobic workout.

ANAEROBIC EXERCISE:

Short and sharp, anaerobic exercise doesn't involve the aerobic system. The energy needed is taken from the glucose stored in the muscles themselves. Glucose is quickly exhausted with intense effort, so doing anaerobic exercise rapidly fatigues the muscles.

Weight lifting is anaerobic. In anaerobic exercise, muscles must work against some form of resistance, that's why weight training is sometimes referred to as "resistance" training.

Progress is measured by increasing the amount of resistance rather than increases in distance or time.

STRETCHING:

The major benefit is providing greater range of motion and flexibility. Limber muscles are less prone to injury and soreness. Loss of flexibility is one of the earliest signs of ageing.

Flexibility is important in life in general for a wider range of activities from mowing the lawn and washing the car to the more strenuous of physical activities.

So here is the quick guide to your best activities and muscles used.

Cycling builds aerobic conditioning and tones legs.

Swimming combines aerobic and whole body muscular conditioning. Weight lifting is the most effective way to build total body strength and running is your main event for a total aerobic workout.

THINK of a workout less as a routine than a ritual.

The four main steps are as follows: 1. WARM UP -for the first five to 10 minutes do a light aerobic activity such as running on the spot. It will get the blood moving, loosen up muscles and prepare the nervous system for vigorous movement.

2. STRETCH -stretch gently to open up your range of motion, while focusing on the workout ahead.

3. PUSH YOURSELF TO THE LIMITS.

4. COOL DOWN-just as you started gradually, end the same way, do five to 10 minutes of light aerobics walking or stretching.

Drink plenty of water as dehydration can have a major affect on your workout.

You can contact Jason at Go Beyond Gym, 16 Brandon Street, Hamilton.

Or email jasoncowan@live.co.uk

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MAKING WAVES: Swimming is good to get all your body muscles in good condition PICTURE: REX FEATURES
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 31, 2008
Words:468
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