Exercise for Bliss

Exercise helps keep the body as well as the mind fit

ExercisingIn spite of the recent fitness boom, there are still plenty of people out there who have NEVER exercised. Yes, never in their life have they gone for a brisk invigorating walk or lifted even the lightest dumbbell or even done a few simple yoga stretches. A lot of people, in fact, take pride in saying "I hate exercise!" I can never understand how a person cannot like some form of exercise.

Forget about how boring/tiring you think exercise can be! I know it is almost impossible to stick to a very strict diet day after day, month after month and year after year. The only way to enjoy your food and yet stay in quite good shape is to exercise.

Exercise has multiple benefits; from the way you look to the way you feel. Here are some general benefits of exercise:

  • Exercise helps you look and feel younger
  • It helps you burn off all the excess calories you consume. So you have greater leeway in your diet than someone who does not exercise at all
  • It helps you strengthen your muscles and bones, and increases your stamina - making your everyday tasks easier
  • It improves your digestion and metabolism helping the body to make better use of nutrients from food
  • It helps prevent age-related muscle depletion and decreases the risk of osteoporosis
  • It makes your heart and lungs stronger
  • In fact, it helps you deal better with stress.

Ever wondered why gymming is so popular all of a sudden?

  • Weight training is the only exercise in which you can individually train every muscle of the body to strengthen and chisel each body part separately
  • Lifting weights does not require any special skill the way dancing or swimming or even yoga does. Once you learn the basic techniques, you just have to stick to correct posture and slow repetitions, and you will see results
  • Weights help you boost your metabolic rate; this is because muscle is a highly active tissue and has very high energy requirements. This means you burn more calories to maintain muscle tissue than to maintain fat tissue
  • Lifting weights causes the release of hormone epinephrine in blood, which may be responsible for elevating the metabolic rate
  • Any aerobic activity [walking, running, cycling] helps you burn calories on the spot. But strength training burns calories during the workout as well as at rest. This is called the "after burn". Also, ? a kilo of muscle burns 35-50 calories a day compared to a paltry two calories from ? a kilo of fat
  • If you have had any muscle related injury in the past and you want to strengthen that particular muscle, weight training is the answer.

Different strokes for different folks!

Endomorph

An endomorph is a person with a naturally low metabolic rate. They are of a medium to large frame and more prone to putting on fat weight. Since they put on fat weight easily, they need to watch their diet and make a little extra effort to stay in shape.

Endomorph training schedule

Endomorphs need to concentrate on having a low fat intake, higher repetitions [15-20] and higher sets with smaller rests in between sets[15-20 seconds]. Aerobic exercises like swimming, walking, cycling or low impact aerobics at least three/four times a week for at least 45 minutes, are a must in addition to weight lifting.

Ectomorph

An Ectomorph is a small framed person with a naturally high metabolic rate. Everyone wishes they would choke on their pastries; it just doesn't show on them! But ectomorphs are hard gainers. They do not gain muscle definition easily; so you see no one has it all!

Ectomorph training schedule

A diet that is high in complex carbohydrates, with good quality protein and medium fat is a must.

Ectomorphs should concentrate on gaining muscle mass by high intensity [heavier weights] medium repetitions [not less than 10] with longer rests between sets.

They should keep aerobic exercises to a minimum of 25-30 minutes twice a week.

Mesomorph

A Mesomorph is what you would say born lucky! They have a high metabolic rate and naturally well defined muscles [are of medium to large frame]. These guys are athletic even without putting in much effort.

Mesomorph training schedule

A balanced diet, medium repetitions [12-15], medium-to-heavy weight depending on fitness level, and aerobic exercises at least 2-3 times for 30-40 minutes coupled with weight training.

Exercise affects your mind too!

Ask a couch potato why he/she hates exercising and one of the first reasons will be the "pain" caused by exercise.

Now ask a dedicated body builder [anyone who lifts even 5 lb dumbbells is a body builder] or a regular brisk walker what makes them exercise day in and day out in spite of the pain?

You might think it's the fresh air they enjoy, or the fact that it makes them look better, or the weight loss.

But the answer is something else.

What keeps a person addicted to exercise is that "feeling". This "feeling" in question is that high that exercisers experience once they complete their workout. Body chemicals serotonin and endorphin, which are also known as "mood up lifters", are what cause this. They wipe away the exercise fatigue, the day's tensions and give you an increased sense of well being. People experience different "highs": from a mild sense of happiness, to euphoria to intense joy. But those who feel it definitely know it!

Exercise is called "nature's tranquiliser" as it has been shown to break up stress patterns in the body. Regular exercise helps us absorb and burn off the excess adrenaline. It helps the production of various hormones that assist us in dealing with stress. Exercise produces a feeling of mild euphoria, releasing body chemicals called "endorphins", the feel-happy hormones known to dull pain [also known as the "natural painkiller"].Besides, this exercise is also known to cure depression and insomnia, and keep your spirits high right till the end of the day.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

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Samreedhi Goel
Samreedhi Goel is a Nutritionist and Personal trainer & fitness columnist who has been a part of the fitness industry since 1999. She has helped hundreds of people shape up, lose weight, achieve the body of their dreams, become fitter and healthier individuals and overcome chronic health problems through her fitness studio Size Wise.Her fitness columns and interviews appear on a regular basis in prestigious publications like Complete Wellbeing, Sunday Midday, Rediff.com, Seventeen India, Mumbai.

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