Do start working out, but be sure you do it rightOne of the most important ways to maintain good health is regular exercise. People who suffer from diseases like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure can improve their overall health by exercising. As the weather warms, it is more tempting than ever to start an exercise regimen.
But if done incorrectly, exercise can also create health problems. Dr. Yang Yun-joon, of Ilsan Baek Hospital, recently published a book called “Smart Exercise.” Here are five principles for working out recommended by Dr. Yang:
1. Maintain an ordered exercise routine.
Exercise should proceed in three basic steps: warm-up, intense exercise and a cool-down period. The first and last steps are actually the most important. If you’re on a tight schedule, cut down on your intense exercise period. Neglecting the warm-up can put unnecessary strain on the heart. The warm-up can range from 5 to 20 minutes. The all-out exercise period should last 15 to 50 minutes, and the cool-down another 10 to 30 minutes. The last step is essential as it reduces soreness by ridding the body of lactate and hydrogen ions.
2. Choose a balanced exercise program.
Three key types of exercise include aerobic exercise, resistance training and stretching. Aerobic exercise helps strengthen the heart and lungs. Resistance training builds bone, joint and muscle strength. Finally, stretching helps keep muscles and joints flexible, which decreases the likelihood of injury. A balanced exercise program includes all three types of exercise in some form or another.
3. Diet is important.
It’s better to eat carbohydrates rather than protein just prior to working out. In other words, eat grains rather than meat before a workout. Carbohydrates cause glycogen to accumulate in muscle cells, which provides energy during exercise.
Proteins may play a lesser role in creating energy for the body, but they do help repair post-exercise damage. People who don’t exercise need less than a gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight. People who exercise regularly should eat up to 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Thus, a person who weighs 65 kilograms (143 pounds) and exercises regularly needs around 100 grams of protein a day.
4. Drink enough water.
Drink water at regular intervals during exercise. Working out makes you sweat, and if you don’t replace those fluids you could dehydrate. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink some water. If you exercise for an hour or less, plain old water is fine; but for longer workouts an electrolyte drink, like Gatorade, is better.
5. Be consistent and persistent.
You probably won’t see any tangible results until you’ve been working out consistently for about three months. Exercise at least three times a week, and stick with it. And forget “exercising” with machines like belt vibrators. You need a workout, not a tossing around by a machine.
MYTHS ABOUT EXERCISE
1. Exercise gives you a bigger appetite (Exercise actually helps decrease the urge to eat).
2. By exercising a particular body part, you can lose fat there (Exercise will bring weight loss all over your body, not just in spots).
3. Don’t pump iron if you want to lose weight (Building muscle actually helps you burn more fat).
4. Lifting weights will make women look manly (Most women lack the testosterone necessary to build big muscles).
by Hong Hye-Gul