In exercise there are proper sequence to follow anytime you exercise. This helps you to get the maximum benefit from each session. Not following this routine can be described as a driver who dresses up in the morning and goes to his garage. He gets into his car, starts the car and immediately accelerates to the highest speed. That is a recipe for disaster.
Most people approach their exercise program the same way. They enter the gym and attack the equipment’s or get up in the morning and immediately start jogging. When people decide to exercise they just want to go without taking the proper steps. You must see a doctor for check – up before you start any exercise program. After that you consult a fitness trainer. The trainer would use the doctor’s report to prepare a training program and routine suitable for your age, your health status, fitness goal and experience.
This is a very important step because there are certain exercises that are not suitable for people with certain health conditions. You may not know your health status unless you see a doctor. Doing this may save your life because it will help your trainer to prepare an informed fitness program for you. When the trainer must have finished with your program, you may decide to work out on your own or register in a gym. Whatever you decide you must follow the steps listed below anytime you want to work out. Not following this basic steps will always lead you to problems that might derail your fitness program.
Below are six basic steps for any exercise program
1. Warming up or warm up
2. Dynamic Stretching
3. Intense exercise
4. Resistance training
5. Static stretching
6. Cooling down
Warming up: It gives your muscles and joints a chance to loosen up. Warming up is meant to gently and gradually bring up your heart rate. It gets your mind and body connected so you can focus on the workout .There are several methods of warming up but the first thing to do is walk yes- walk. Walking is very good because it gets you out of the idle or sitting mode you have been on for who knows how long to active mode. You should aim to walk slowly for 3-4 minutes, go to brisk walking for 1 minute and gently ease into jogging for 3 minutes.
Accelerate when jogging from low to medium tempo for some seconds and decelerate. If you are in a gym and you do not have enough space to jog then you can use a treadmill, a punching bag or you can jog in place.
Importance of warming up
It brings up the temperature of the muscle and the core
Enhances blood flow and gets your body ready to go
It prevents injury
It clears your mind and helps you to focus on your workout
Dynamic stretching: Stretching further loosens your muscle.
It prepares and improves range of movement and motions. Even though there are a lot of controversy about the benefits of stretching before exercise, I believe it is necessary to stretch before exercise; because I have observed that it helps to loosen up the body before a workout. Proper stretching should always target the muscles you are likely to use more in your exercise. If you are going to lift weight, the stretch should target your arms and shoulders which are the muscles you a likely to use more. When preparing for aerobics exercise, the stretch should target every part of your body. If you are lifting weight, the stretch should target your shoulder and arms more. There are three types of stretches: dynamic, static, passive and active stretches.
In dynamic stretching you perform a range of challenging yet comfortable movements 10-12 times. You do not hold the stretch. Static stretches means you hold the stretch position for 10-20 seconds. In passive stretching you rely on another person or device such as a resistance band. Passive stretch makes you relax the muscle you want to stretch because you are relying on the external force to keep you in place. When starting your workout, the stretch to use is dynamic stretching.
Importance of stretching
It prevents exercise related injuries
It improves flexibility
It increases the core temperature which makes your body more pliable for your workout
Intense exercise (also known as cardio or aerobics):
These are low to high intensity workouts that increase the heart rate. They are my favorite exercise. They can be done with or without equipment’s. However If you are using machine my first pick is the elliptical machine. You can also use a skipping rope, rowing machine, the stair climber, stationary bike and treadmill. If you are not using any equipment, do the dance and step aerobics. It should be followed by other cardio such as butt kicks, jumping jacks, squats and lunges with or without dumbbells or kettle bells.
Importance of intensive training
Want to burn fat and lose weight?
1.That’s your go to exercise because it turns carbohydrate to energy.
2.It reduces the risk of developing all kinds of inflammatory disease.
3.The body releases the feel good hormone-endorphin. This natural hormone that is produced in the body gives you a high without any side effects.
4.It improves circulation.
5.It reduces depression, stress, and the risk of diabetes.
6.It strengthens and enlarges the muscles of the heart and makes the heart to pump blood efficiently.
7.It reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Resistance and strength training
These are exercises that strengthens the body, tones and helps in building muscle. They are an essential part of any fitness program. The muscles of every individual diminishes with age and if you do not do something about it, your body fat has no option than to increase. When you go on weight loss diet or fad diet without resistance training you will lose both fat and muscle. You will end up with flabby skin. Resistance and strength training helps you to remain toned. It can be done with free weights like dumbbells, kettle bells and medicine ball. You can also use barbells with weight plates or the multi gym. Resistance training includes abdominal exercises, leg squats, chin-up and push-up etc.
Importance of resistance and strength training
Want flat abs or six packs? A well-toned and sculpted body? This is your go to exercise
3.Increases lean muscle mass
4.Reduces body fat
5.Improves balance, posture
Static stretching: Exercise usually takes a toll on the body because of the shortening and tightening the body go through. Gradually easing into stretches as you end your workout is a good way to loosen the muscles and bring fresh blood and nutrients to the muscle. It sets the recovery process in motion.
The stretch is held for 10-15 seconds
Importance of static stretching
1.Helps the muscles recover fast.
2.Prevents soreness which comes from the body’s production of lactic acid.
3.If soreness is already present it helps you to recover fast.
Cooling down: It further improves the recovery level. It can be done by walking slowly for 3-4 minutes. It safely brings your exercise to an end. Imagine a car in high speed and the driver steps down on the brakes. The car may somersault or do other strange things it was not manufactured to do. It puts all the passengers in grave danger. You must reduce the speed gradually before stopping the car. Every exercise training should also come to an end gradually. I like using yoga, meditation and relaxation poses for this level.
Importance of cooling down
1.It gently, gradually and safely brings down your heart rate and blood pressure.
2.It calms and makes your breathing regular.
3.It sustains the recovery process.
Anytime you feel tempted to continue intense workout till the end of the exercise, resist it firmly. It is very important to end every workout with static stretching and a walk. Now that you know the proper exercise sequence, it’s time to get up and go. Remember to exercise not less than four times a week and not more than five times a week. This gives your body time to recover and repair tissues. It is also important to know that proper nutrition, exercise, leisure and a healthy lifestyle are all necessary for a well- rounded exercise and recovery program.
Now that you know the proper exercise sequence, you can start your exercise program. In future posts, I will be showing you different exercise, fitness and wellness topics and healthy recipes to help you achieve your fitness goals.
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