Monday, February 4, 2008



Regular physical activity wonders for your health, your shape, and your mood. No matter what your age, health, and level of fitness, there’s a form of exercise to suite you.
Exercise burns calories; it also keeps bones healthy, improves cardiovascular performance, enhances digestion, tones the muscles and the skin, and increases your chance of getting a restful night’s sleep. In addition to its physical benefits, exercise activates the brain to release endorphins, morphine like natural painkillers that soothe pain and create a sense of emotional well-being. Endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high” that many athletes experience. They help to explain why exercise has a positive impact on your state of mind and ability to manage stress.

Exercise is energizing
The paradox of exercise is that by expending energy you can increase energy. By improving the heart’s performance and ability to pump blood, aerobic exercise makes your body more energy-efficient, and you consume less oxygen when going about normal daily activities In effect, it is like turning up a car’s engine and getting better gas mileage. If you are unused to regular exercise, however, you may feel a bit stiff or sore and fatigued at first. Start slowly, perhaps adding only 10 minutes of activity three times a week, and gradually build up the intensity and duration of your workout. After a few weeks of following a regular exercise regimen, most people report a surge of energy.

Exercise burns fat
In this sedentary society you need to schedule regular exercise to keep your body trim and improve your health. If you eat more food than your body uses up in energy, the surplus calories are stored as fat. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is to combine a healthy low-calorie diet with regular aerobic exercise. Such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and or aerobic dancing. By speeding up breathing and raising your heart rate, aerobic exercise helps to burn body fat. Undertaking an exercise program, however, doesn’t give you a license to eat all the French fries, fudge, and brownies you can lay your hands on. On the contrary, a balanced diet is essential to provide the energy you need to sustain a regular exercise program.

Move it to lose it
When you exercise aerobically, your body first burns the glucose circulating; it then turns so the glycogen stored in the muscles and the liver, as well as some fatty acids. Thus, an exercise session longer than about 20 minutes burns more fat and helps to shed weight and keep it off. Endurance training increases the amount of fatty acids being burned. Therefore, the best way to promote fat burning is steady, sustained effort, in which you exercise for long periods – at least 25 to 30 minutes at a time- at 30 to 40 percent of your maximum capability.

Fuel for sport

The food you eat fuels your performance, at the gym, on the playing fields, or even at home and work. The right combination of food and exercise will give you the added edge.
Here are some fit tips:
1. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel for physical activity and are an integral part of an athlete’s training program. Breads, grains, cereals, pasta, fruits, and vegetables provide high-octane fuel for muscles and speed up restocking of muscle fuel after exercise. If you aren’t eating enough carbohydrates, you will tire more quickly. The exact amount of carbohydrate required depends on an individual’s training and personal requirements. Daily carbohydrate requirements for athletes training heavily can range from 2.7 to 4.5 g per pound (6-10 g per kilogram) of body weight. For example, a 132-lb (60-kg) athlete training 2 to 4 hours daily would need about 360 to 600 g of carbohydrate per day.
2. fluids are critical to high performance. During high activity, fluid losses increase the risk of cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Drink before, during and after an event as part of your exercise routine. Get into the habit of drinking lots of fluids even on days when you aren’t working out. Water, sports drinks, fruits and vegetable juices, or mineral water are good choices. Cold water or sports drinks are recommended for workouts, training sessions, and competitions. Alcohol and caffeine are dehydrating and don’t count as part of your hydrating fluid intake. Drink 14 to 20 oz (400-600 ml) 2 hours before a workout and 5 to 12 oz (150-350 ml) every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.
3. Time your meals. If you’re running a race of competing in an event, have a low-fat, high-carbohydrate meal 2 to 3 hours beforehand. Eat foods you are familiar with and that you digest easily. Fruit, yogurt, bagels, a smoothie or a bowl of cereal are good choices. If you have food in your stomach when you are working out, blood is diverted

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