Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fitness Terms

If you are starting to explore the world of fitness then you may well hear some of these words being used.
Aerobic Or Cardiovascular Activity - Exercises like swimming, cycling and running make you work hard enough to increase your heart rate and the way in which you breathe. These are referred to as cardiovascular or aerobic activities. Maximum Heart Rate - A person's age will determine their maximum heart rate. This figure can be obtained by deducting the persons age from the figure of 220.
Stretching Or Flexibility Training - Stretching or flexibility training allows the joints to move better. As we age our ligaments, tendons and muscles shorten. Before we stretch any of our muscles we need to 'warm them up'.
Strength, Weight Or Resistance Training - An exercise where you work against the weight of your own body is called resistance training or maybe strength or weight training. This exercise concentrates on improving the way in which the muscles function and also gives the muscles strength.
Repetition - A repetition refers to the amount of times that you repeat a certain exercise during a set.
Warm Up - Before you start exercising you will need to 'warm up'. This is done using light movement which increases the blood flow and warms up the muscles and joints. Often the warm up is rounded off with some light stretching movements.
Cool Down - After any exercise you will need to 'cool down' this is done by reducing the pace at which you are exercising until you eventually stop. This allows quite a few minutes for your heart rate and your breathing to slow down sufficiently. The cooling down period is often followed by a stretching session too.
Ideas For A Beginners Workout
By now you will have realized how important it is to 'warm' up properly. Experts divide physical fitness into three sections: Cardiovascular Activity, Strength Conditioning and Flexibility training.
Cardiovascular Activity
A basic cardiovascular activity is walking or running if you prefer, around 20 minutes three times a week is about the right level. A good test to see if you are working to potential is to try to converse while you are still running. If you can chat away merrily then you know you aren't working hard enough!
Strength Conditioning
When you start on the strength conditioning exercise it may be good to start off doing one set of exercises which focus on each muscle group. Use a weight that is comfortable at first, building up more weight as time goes on.
Flexibility Training
Stretching exercises should be carried out slowly, make each stretch last a few seconds. Often if you take up a gym membership you might get a couple of free sessions that will give you an insight into some of the exercises used.

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