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Get Up & Get Moving

Get Up and Get Moving!!

Keeping fit is essential to fulfilling your physical potential and is a great way not only to look your best, but also to fend off heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Often, a doctor’s news that you have or are in danger of getting any of these conditions is enough to cause even someone who has never exercised or considered physical fitness a priority to get to the gym.

Exercise can be dangerous, however, if you are not knowledgeable in the different varieties and uses of exercising. Therefore, below we have provided a beginner’s resource to give you the knowledge needed to get fit while staying safe.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is, especially for someone new to physical fitness, perhaps the most important variety. This is because, with a regimen of only aerobic exercises, a person can control their weight and stave off all of the conditions mentioned above. Researched is released constantly proving that aerobic exercise combined with a healthy diet is the best way to control weight and remain or get healthy. But what exactly is aerobic activity?

Basically, aerobic activity is any an activity done for an prolonged period of time which causes you to breathe heavily and use muscles at a regular pace. These types of exercises can strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. 

For the beginner, often a brisk walk every day for twenty minutes to a half hour (enough to push yourself without pushing to the point of exhaustion). Be careful to remain within your target heart rate, which is the safe range of heart beats per minute and can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220 for women and 226 for men. 

Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercise is an exercise which lasts for a shorter amount of time than aerobic exercise, but is much more intense and uses a certain muscle group. The main difference to consider when trying to remember the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise is that “anaerobic” literally means “without oxygen.” It is used to describe this kind of exercise because the body relies on the respiratory system less in this kind of exercise than it does with aerobics. 

The benefits of anaerobic exercise are many and varied. One of the main benefits is that strength training (which is anaerobic) can help to prevent future health problems. Especially when combined with aerobic exercise, it can prevent obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. It also bolsters your immune system.

Also, strength training can improve bone density, so it is not only valuable to young people looking to build muscle tone. Osteoporosis is a major problem in the United States, causing additional issues when a senior falls or is otherwise injured. Strength training is a great way to keep your bones from getting brittle and soft.

Finally, especially when used in conjunction with aerobic exercise, strength training is a great way to reduce body fat. Excessive body fat is the cause of all kinds of conditions including all of those mentioned above. The issue of excessive body fat is also compounded by the fact that an increase of body fat slows down your metabolism. This means that an increase in body fat leads your body to burn less of the calories you take in, storing them in more and more body fat. 

Accuracy

It is a fact that the human species is the only species on Earth capable of exhibiting accuracy on a consistent basis. Whether it is shooting a free throw or throwing darts, the human species is capable of accuracy in a way no other animal throughout the course of time has been. The acknowledgment of this fact has led scientists to study the phenomenon in order to better understand it and to help people (especially athletes) hone their own accuracy.

Physical Coordination and Accuracy
 
Agility

Agility is the ability a person has to change directions quickly, and it has obvious applications for the athlete. Working on agility not only allows, for example, a running back to run circles around defenders, but also allows the linemen to react quickly to the defense’s moves. Agility should not be confused with speed.

Exercises to Increase Agility
Speed and Agility Information

Balance

Important for anyone at any age, balance is the ability of a person to maintain equilibrium and relatively equal weight distribution at any time. It is important, of course, to the athlete, who makes his or her living by the ability he or she has to remain upright, but it is equally important to seniors. The decrease in capacity to quickly process the world around the senior makes equilibrium a problem, and puts a senior at an increased risk of falling. Adding the factors of location and increasingly brittle bones, a fall can be a real issue and therefore balance training is of the utmost importance.

Balance Training Exercises
Balance Exercises Reduce Seniors’ Risk of Falling

Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance

Strengthening the cardiovascular system is imperative not only to the athlete, but also to the health-conscious person. This is because a strong cardiovascular system not only pumps blood quicker and more efficiently to the muscles, but because it also fights infection more effectively when strong. By exercising on a regular basis and building a strong cardiovascular system, a person also puts herself at a decreased risk for heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, and any number of other conditions.


Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Energy Systems
American Sports Medicine Institute – Cardiovascular Fitness

Coordination

Coordination is one of the key components to being able to lead a healthy lifestyle, and it is something which can be exercised and made stronger. It is the ability for the body to move in a concerted effort to achieve a goal. It takes coordination to get dressed, brush your teeth, and walk, and this type of motor coordination is something which most people have instinctually. The athlete, however, through exercise and routine, can increase coordination, making his body do many intricate movements at once to achieve a higher level motor task.

How Making Physical Activity a Habit Improves Coordination
Coordination Exercises for Seniors

Flexibility

Flexibility is the term used to describe the degree to which a joint has a range of motion. This is extremely important to the athlete because their bodies are often made, by virtue of their demanding physical activity, to have a range of motion a non-athlete does not need to concern himself with. However, flexibility is an important aspect of anyone’s life, as being flexible can fend off some balance and pain disorders.

American Heart Association – Stretching and Flexibility Exercises
Examples of Flexibility Exercises

Speed

A characteristic of physicality which can be improved to a certain extent by the combination of many different physical training techniques, speed is the velocity at which a person can run or perform a task. In the case of the athlete, speed is important and is worked on through a combination of flexibility, strength, and, among others, cardiovascular training. Speed training is also utilized as a way for athletes, in particular runners, to increase the maximum velocity at which they can travel. There is no top speed every human should be able to achieve however, as factors such as height at build play a major role in how fast a person can run.

The Sport Digest – Speed Development Training
What is Speed Training?

Stamina

Especially important to the athlete, stamina is the amount of time a person can perform a task without becoming exhausted. It can be improved mostly through aerobic exercise, though anaerobic is used as well. There is no standard for stamina because it is measured according to the task. For example, “good” stamina for a cross country runner is measured differently than “good” stamina for a power weight lifter.

Increase Your Kid’s Stamina by Starting a Running Program
Building Your Stamina

Strength

Strength is the ability a person has to exercise force upon an object through the use of muscles. It is improved through regular weight lifting and stands on its own as a concept, not intertwined with stamina or flexibility. People with a lot of strength, however, utilize training in these other methods of staying fit in order to build their strength. For the non-athlete, strength is important because it gives her the ability to accomplish more physically, giving her the ability to achieve more demanding tasks. 

Strength Training Resources
Benefits to Strength Training