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Thu, April 25, 2024

EXERCISE BASICS: GETTING IT RIGHT

Sandesh Palungwa Limbu
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu November 28, 2023, 4:55 pm
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As humans, we function by making decisions and acting on it through the information we have, but what if the information is incorrect? Here, let’s talk about exercise and nutrition. 

Practice of life style modification techniques is on the rise and exercise is a very important component of this change. But before you embark on this enriching journey, keep in mind that there is a difference between functioning on informed and focused decisions and functioning from half-baked knowledge. It not only affects the outcome of your optimum wellbeing, struggling through trends may actually do you more harm than good. 
Below I have put together 10 common exercise beliefs I come across regularly and the truth behind each one: 

#1: It is okay to cover a week’s worth of workout during the weekend
Just working on weekends will not be the same as a whole week of work. Instead, training 3-4 times (alternate days) should be targeted. Just working on weekend creates a wide gap between workouts which hinders the effectiveness of the workout and may increase the possibility of discontinuation. The recommended time distance between two workouts is not more than three days.

# 2: Static yoga is equivalent to aerobic exercising
Static yoga movements (postures) come with its own benefits but doesn’t meet the physiological stress (positive) brought about by aerobic type training. Aerobic focuses more on cardiovascular adaptation whereas static yoga caters more towards the flexibility and mobility areas of fitness.

#3: Using vibrating exercise machines, rhythmic movement machines while lying down or sauna belts are as good as going for regular exercise
Some of these machines may have minimal muscle stimulation but are very far from achieving the positive effects of exercise. They do not have any scientific validity or proven health benefits. Moreover it deprives you from the real experience of exercise and its benefits.

#4: My muscles will turn to fat if I stop exercising
It is impossible for muscles to turn into fat as it is a completely different type of body tissue. However skeletal muscle adaptation starts to decrease after stopping exercise. Sedentary lifestyle combined with increased calorie intake will result in excess fat deposit. This might appear as muscles turning into fat. Regular aerobic and resistance exercises are needed to maintain function, tone and adequate girth of muscles.

#5: Exercise is one sure way to lose all the weight you desire
Exercise will lead to effective weight loss only if combined with well-balanced, low-calorie diet and adequate rest. Doing regular exercise alone has multiple benefits but long-term weight loss may not occur. Some people do experience short term weight loss.

#6: I am too old to start weight training
You are never too old to start a sensible weight training program. You should have an individualised training program considering your health status and objectives. Your individual goals, training programs and results will be different, but weight training can be beneficial at any age. Research has shown that individuals who are more than 70 years old gain strength and muscle mass after they begin weight training

#7: There are specific abdominal exercises to reduce abdominal fat 
Abdominal exercises will firm up weak, sagging muscles and may result in a trimmer appearance but will not effectively reduce excess body fat stored in that area. To effectively lose abdominal fat you have to reduce total body fat through proper exercise and well-balanced diet.

# 8: I should start to see results (muscle gain, weight reduction) as soon as I start my exercise program
The body will go through physiological adaptations (acute changes) immediately after beginning your exercise program. However it takes 6-8 weeks for visible (measurable, chronic adaptations) results to appear.

#9: I can start exercising today by doing a 60-minute physical activity
If you are above the age of 35 and have never exercised before or have been sedentary for more then a year you should see a doctor before starting any exercise program. The safe and effective method would be to escalate gradually depending on your health and fitness level. 

#10: I have an erratic exercise schedule, but at least I exercise.
Regular physical activity is a key component for achieving and maintaining overall sound health. Keep the FITT principle in mind to make your exercise effective and meaningful. F = Frequency, I = Intensity, T= time and T= type. An ideal program would be a well rounded program consisting of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility depending on your health status and needs. Exercise 3-4 days a week, 60 minutes each session. Make sure to feel some level of exertion during your workout for progression. 

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MARCH 2024

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