Fitness for Baby Boomers
Men and women need to be aware of the importance of the five phases of a successful cardiovascular exercise session. We have seen many people start an exercise program with great intentions and then suddenly quit. Usually, they quit because of pain and injury. Sometimes, they quit because they don’t see any results.
When people over 50 exercise in a proper way, you burn calories and increase fitness. But when you exercise in an improper way, you risk injuries. You risk burning away the protein stored in your muscles and vital organs and the carbohydrates (sugar) which you need to supply nourishment to your nervous system and brain. But what is proper exercise? Of the course the best thing to do is to speak with a member of our professional staff to assist you in developing a program that fits your needs and goals. However, we can share with you five basic steps to be followed at each exercise session. These basic parameters have proven to give optimal results and minimize the chance of injury during exercise.
1. WARM UP
Function: To prepare and “‘alert” our body for the upcoming physical activity. A warm up at the beginning of an exercise session is one of the best ways to prevent pain and injury. Despite its importance, this step is often ignored by exercisers – even experienced athletes.
How To: For a proper warm up, simply perform the exercise at a slow pace for about 5 minutes (or until your pulse count is above 100 beats per minute-bpm). For example, start your brisk walk with a slow 5 minute stroll or be at your aerobics class at the beginning of the session (a good instructor will always start the class with a warm up).
2. PRE-EXERCISE STRETCH
Function: Relaxes and lengthens our muscles.
How To: Once we have warmed up our body (our pulse count is over 100 bpm), it is time to stretch the muscles we are about to use. The leg stretches and upper body Static Stretches, relax the muscles that are used for walking a track or riding a bicycle. Relaxed muscles tend to improve our efficiency and our performance as well as reducing our risk of injury.
Function: To improve cardiovascular fitness and/or burn body fat.
How to: An aerobic activity such as walking, biking, swimming and Walkaerobics should increase our pulse count to 40% – 60% of our maximum heart rate. The activity should be done for 12 – 30 minutes, not more than 60 minutes per session. The Heart Rate Chart based on your resting heart rate and age determines your exercise heart rate.
4. COOL DOWN
Function: To gradually return to resting state.
If we stop short after exercising, it takes time for our body to regain homeostasis. Meanwhile, our heart is still pumping at an accelerated pace and blood pools in our extremities. We get swollen fingers and feet. This causes dizziness because no blood, and therefore no oxygen, is getting to our brain.
How To: The cool down is the same as the warm up, but in reverse. Just do the exercise or previous activity at a slow, temperate pace for about 5 minutes or until your heart rate has gone down below 100 bpm.
5. POST-EXERCISE STRETCH
Function: Prevents soreness and increases flexibility.
How To: This is the optimal time to static stretch. Your body is warm and your blood is pumping at a moderate pace so you can stretch further without causing an injury. Besides increasing your flexibility, stretching at this point squeezes out the excess waste products that have built up in your muscles during exercise. If you do not stretch at this time, the waste buildup causes muscle soreness and fatigue.
These five phases of an cardio exercise session are condensed from proven scientific studies and the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines ACSM. When followed at each workout they will give optimal results and minimize the chance of injury during exercise.
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Exercise is vital for managing diabetes; the other essential management tool is a well-balanced healthy nutritious diet. Implementing regular exercise into your daily routine will allow you to easily achieve optimum health and take control of your diabetes. Here at the club we certainly can help you with both!
Before starting and exercise program to help you in managing diabetes you need to consult with your doctor first to see which exercises will be the most beneficial for you. Depending on what condition your diabetes is you need to realize that some exercises can actually cause you more harm than good. When you are ready, speak with a professional on our staff to assist you.
Always remember that before starting your exercises, you need to do at least 5 minutes of warm-up exercises so that you do not cause yourself unnecessary injury. When you have completed your exercise program for the day, it is also very important that you do a 5-minute cool down for the same reasons as with the warm-ups.
Following are some different exercises that will help you in managing diabetes more easily, both at the club and at home:
Working with one of our trainers
An easy walk around the block
Taking your dog for a walk
A gentle jog
Using our cardio equipment
Gardening or mowing the lawn
Swimming has many great benefits
Cycling is another option that is beneficial
Joining an aerobics class can be fun
Doing the chores around the house
When you start your exercise program, depending on your fitness level, make sure that you start off slowly, don’t rush in and overdo as this can cause you many complications that you can do without. Start with 10 to 15 minutes per day and gradually build up to at least half an hour per day.
The secret to doing exercises on a regular basis so that managing diabetes can be obtained is to do exercises that your enjoy, if you don’t like doing the exercise, it will feel like a chore and you will give up too easily. Some exercise activities can be done with a friend or family member, this will allow you to become motivated as well as look forward to each time you come to the club.
Active4less Luton has started with a bang.
We now have a full timetable available with a large range of varied fitness classes held in Luton. Classes include: Spin, TRX, Circuit Training, Hour of Power, Zumba, Kettlebells, Pump, Combat, Yoga, Pilates and many more.
All classes are included in your membership.
More information on our fitness classes in Luton can be found here: http://luton.active4less.com/timetable/