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Sunday, January 17, 1999
You should ideally go in for a check-up before you start exercising, as it is a basic safety precaution. Sometimes, borderline cases of people suffering from ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes etc. do not know about their ailment, says Anup Deb Nath
SOME more questions and answers on keeping fit.
Do I need to exercise?
Exercise, undoubtedly, has many benefits, but in order to achieve them we must remember to follow the fitness programme correctly. This means doing the correct exercise, at the correct time and pace and sustaining it for the required duration.
Among the questions that are often asked by first time exercisers are those that pertain basically to these basic queries.
I am 28 years old and am planning an exercise programme. I do not suffer from any ailment, but as I have never exercised before, could you tell me if I should consult a doctor before starting? I have been warned about muscle soreness after exercising. Can I avoid it?
You should, ideally, go in for check-up before you start exercising, as it is a basic safety precaution. Sometimes, borderline cases of people suffering from ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes etc. do not know about their ailment. The exercise programme should be geared towards your existing physical condition. Muscle soreness is often a side-effect of starting the body on a new regime rather abruptly. Minor stiffness is common and is to be expected when you begin but soreness means going overboard and overdoing it.
As you have not been exercising earlier you will have to take a few precautions. Remember to take it easy when you begin and try to go slow. Try not to be over-ambitious and reach for the stars. If you plan on a long-term exercise routine you will tend not to rush. Rushing it will mean the end of your exercising.
Ideally, you can start by just walking and then increasing it till you are walking briskly. Your body will get accustomed to some exercise. If you want to start directly with your aerobic class or gym, then just remember to go slow and keep your workout to the lowest intensity possible for a few days and then gradually increase the intensity.
Also, be careful that your exercise routine begins with a warm-up and some stretches and ends with a cool-down and stretches. There are many people who skip both or one of these parts thinking them to be redundant.
The warm-up and cool down are both very important parts of the workout as the warm-up prepares the body for the exercise that is to follow while the cool down helps the body go back to its normal resting position slowly. Stretches help in limbering up the muscles and increasing flexibility and are a great way to reduce any muscles injury. Remember, though, to hold your stretch for as long as you can.
Is exercising risky for older people?
Any healthy person can exercise no matter what their age. In fact older people need the exercise as much if not more as with age come the problems of arthritis, stiffening of joints, poor circulation, obesity and heart problems. Exercise may not take away these problems. It can certainly help in pushing them away or reducing chances of their onset. Exercise is a must; the difference will be in the type of exercise that the older people should and can do.
If you are healthy and have been regular with your exercise you can continue with it. There are many people, who may be over 50 but they go to a gym, use the treadmill, or the cycle or they train with weights. If you have been exercising right through it is easy to keep it up and unless you develop any health problem or your doctor recommends it, you need not stop.
For those who have never been exercising but keep good health, a walk, yoga or simple callisthenics exercises will also suffice. If you have a health problem then you need your doctors guidance to work out the type of exercise best suited to your condition.
Are there any benefits of exercise?
The most obvious and
popular benefit of exercise is its ability to help you
reduce weight. Exercise helps you burn calories which are
stored as fat by the body. With regular exercise your
bodys metabolic rate increases. Exercise also helps
in improving your bodys cardiovascular functioning,
boosts blood circulation, and helps you keep many
ailments at bay.
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