23 February 2005

The 4 components of a good exercise programme

In order to exercise correctly and effectively, you should know the following basics.

Components of an effective exercise programme
An effective exercise programme should include the following elements:
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistance training (weight training)
  • Flexibility (stretching)
  • Proper nutrition

1. Aerobic/cardiovascular exercise
You heart will beat faster and your pulse rate will increase during exercise. You will be short of breath. You will sweat.

Aerobic activities include: walking, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, aerobic dances, rope skipping, rowing, stair climbing, and endurance exercises.

2. Resistance training/weight training
Resistance training is important to enhance muscle strength, to increase muscular endurance, to maintain fat-free mass and to maintain bone-mineral density.

3. Flexibility exercises/stretching
This may be the part of your exercise routine that you tend to skip when you are in a hurry, and even when you are not in a hurry.

  • increase flexibility
  • maintain the range of motion for muscles and joints
  • prepare tendons and muscles for the upcoming exercise
  • help prevent injuries due to inflexibility
  • help prevent the delayed onset of muscle
  • prevent fatigue in the days following your workout
  • mentally prepare you for your session.

4. Good nutrition
In order to understand nutrition and exercise, you need to know a few truths:

  • You are what you eat. Your body burns fats in a different way than carbohydrates and proteins. You will achieve your fitness goals easier with a balanced diet and the correct eating pattern.
  • The greater you muscle mass, the easier you will lose weight.
  • Your weight is dictated by the balance between your intake of calories (what you eat) and the calories you burn. If your calorie expenditure exceeds your calorie intake you will lose weight. If you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight.
  • The more you exercise, the more calories you burn.




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