YES, the benefits of exercise are written on, heard about and perhaps all too overdone. Yet, here we are doing a quick and dirty summary for all you readers about 10 exercise basics.
1. First things first, you need one! Yes, no matter your age, sex, geographical location, social status, body composition, we all need to workout. Exercise is an anti-ageing tool which means that it would make us look and feel younger. Now who doesn’t want that?
2. It can be broken down into 3 components: endurance, flexibility and strength and a good workout would encompass all of these 3 components
- Endurance – In simple terms, how much your body can ‘ensure’ without reaching a point of fatigue. Examples include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, tennis, squash to name a few
- Flexibility- Flexibility training includes exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s range of motion and making the muscles more tensile. Excellent examples of activities that improve flexibility are yoga and stretching exercises
- Strength- The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Examples are lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight
3. Pre-workout – Want to get the most out of your workout? Then you need to plan a healthy, nutritious pre-workout meal to better fuel your body for the exercise. Best to consume a fruit 30 minutes prior to working out. If working out post breakfast, lunch or a bigger meal, a gap of 90 minutes is recommended
4. Post workout – Eating a meal after the workout is just as important as a pre-workout meal as it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that are used up during the workout. Also, a meal would help repair and recover our muscle tissues which have gone through damage during the workout. What you eat would largely depend on time of workout completion. If you workout in the mornings, then a breakfast immediately post workout would be a good idea. If evenings, then dinner
5. Warming up – This is the first step to a successful exercise. It helps to raise the total body temperature and muscle temperature that is required for vigorous exercises and to prevent injuries
6. A cool down – This allows for the gradual return of heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature back to pre-exercise levels. It also ensures that you don’t go through post-exercise stiffness thereby allowing for a more efficient exercise
7. Consistency – 2 days a week for 3 months is better than 7 days a week for 1 month and 2 months of doing nothing and eating in front of the TV. No, we’re not telling you to workout less, we are asking you to be consistent with whatever it is that you commit to. This forms the basis of a healthy, lifelong exercise plan
8. Drink up! Your body needs the good old H20 to refill back the fluid loss we experience due to sweating. So drink enough water during and after your workout
9. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, it counts. Some exercise is better than no exercise and 15 minutes spent on exercise would be 15 less minutes spent on your iPhone which is a complete win
10. Baseline diet – So here’s where we actually come into the picture. A good baseline diet will serve many purposes (replenish glycogen stores, counter damage that body cells go through during workout). Below are a few elements that comprise of a good baseline diet:
- A fruit pre-workout
- A wholesome meal within the first hour of finishing the workout
- Minimal consumption of foods which are packaged, processed and deep-fried
- No blanket bans on carbs and fats
- Sensible eating—no restriction, limitation, starvation.