Did You Know?

Muscles can only “Pull”

Even during a pressing motion, your muscles contract, which pulls against a lever that ends up pushing. Muscle can contract and relax. That’s about it.

Movement Melts Away Stress

As much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you’ll experience less stress in every part of your life.

Exercise Boosts Brainpower

Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function, says certified trainer David Atkinson.

Exercise Helps Ward Off Disease

Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass.

Stretch Before You Exercise

Although fitness experts have debated about the best time to stretch, the consensus is that it’s better, safer, and more effective to stretch after you have warmed up your muscles.

No Pain, No Gain

Forget this masochistic mantra. Never exercise through pain unless you have a known injury, and it is part of a supervised rehabilitation program. In most cases, pain is a warning of an injury.”

Crunches Get Rid of Belly Fat

Abdominal crunches alone won’t cut it if you’re trying to lose belly fat. Losing weight requires taking in fewer calories as well as burning more calories. One pound of belly fat equals about 3,500 calories.

Aerobic Exercise Boosts Your Metabolism

The benefits of a regular aerobic exercise program for about 30 minutes four or five times per week includes long-lasting benefits for your metabolism and will help you maintain a healthy weight. Although you only burn calories for a limited time after aerobic exercise, the aerobic boost to your metabolism continues to help lower your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Lifting Weights Will Make You Bulky

Lifting weights could make you bulky if that’s the look you’re going for, but you need to specifically train for that goal. Limited weight training a few times a week will increase bone strength and muscle mass without obvious bulk — and without a lot of heavy sweating.

If You’re Not Sweating, You’re Not Working

How much you sweat depends on many factors, including your basic metabolism, how much you weigh, and where you’re exercising.” You can get plenty of exercise benefits, including weight loss, without sweating heavily, although sweat does help to cool the body.

Sports Bras Just Prevent Painful Bounce

Sports bras help prevent pain brought on by bouncing during running or other aerobic activities, but they also provide protection and muscle support — and help with posture.

At Some Point You’re Too Old to Exercise

You are never too old to benefit from exercise.” In fact, there are many upsides to staying fit as you get older. Studies show that elderly people can reduce their risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and mental decline with a prescribed exercise program.

More Is Always Better

For most people, 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days per week can help maintain good health, improve fitness and energy levels, and can help you drop a few pounds.

Exercise is about burning calories

Burning calories is just about the least important thing exercise does. Far more important is what is known as a “training effect.” Exercise has the ability to make you stronger, faster, more agile, and more flexible.

Walking and Your Heart

Studies have suggested that walking at a brisk pace for three or more hours a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by 65 percent.

The Sedentary

About 25 percent of American adults — and an even greater percentage of women — are sedentary. After age 44, upwards of 30 percent of women are sedentary, and by age 65, the proportion increases to almost 35 percent. By the time they reach age 75, about 50 percent of all women are sedentary.

Regular Exercise

Only about 22 percent of American adults engage in regular, sustained physical activity for at least 30 minutes five times a week, and only 15 percent exercise both regularly and vigorously.

Age and Fitness

No matter how poor your current level of fitness, you can start an exercise routine and become fitter and healthier. Even 90-year-old women who use walkers have been shown in studies to benefit from light weight training.

Fitness Components

Fitness consists of four components: your body’s ability to use oxygen as a source of energy, which translates into cardiovascular fitness; muscular strength and endurance; flexibility; and body composition.

Balanced Exercise Program

To address all the components of fitness, an exercise program needs to include aerobic exercise, which is continuous repetitive movement of large muscle groups that raises your heart rate; weight lifting or strength training; and flexibility exercises or stretching.

Walking vs. Jogging

Walking at a brisk pace (a 15-minute mile or 4 mph) burns almost as many calories as jogging for the same distance. The benefit of jogging is that it takes less time to cover the same distance and it benefits the bones; however, it may be too strenuous for some.

Workout Results

It takes about 12 weeks after starting an exercise program to see measurable changes in your body. However, before 12 weeks, you will notice an increase in your strength and endurance.

Stronger by a Hair

Each muscle fiber is thinner than a hair and can support up to 1,000 times its own weight.

Where Did the Strength Go

By the age of 65, individuals who haven’t engaged in exercise on a regular basis may incur a decrease in their muscular strength by as much as 80 percent.

Exercise as a Drug

Aerobic exercise is one of the best preventative medicines available and one of the cheapest.

No Thank You, I’m Full

If you are 25 pounds overweight, you have nearly 5,000 extra miles of blood vessels through which your heart must pump blood.

Hydration

BEFORE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Drink at least 16 ounces of fluid about two hours beforehand.
DURING ACTIVITY: Drink 5 to 10 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes.
AFTER ACTIVITY: Drink 16 ounces for each pound of body weight lost during activity.

Weight Loss

One must burn more calories than one takes in to lose weight at any age. This can be done either with caloric restriction or with exercise. Although metabolism slows down somewhat as we age, increasing weight with age is usually due to a drop-off in activity while dietary habits stay the same or get worse.

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