Exercise is must for people of all ages. Everybody needs to maintain their health in order to live a long and happy life.
Any activity that causes movement of the body parts is a form of a physical exercise. This could include running, walking, stretching or lifting weights.
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What is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is a type of exercise which involves the use of oxygen by the muscles.
This oxygen is required to meet the energy demands of the body by burning fat. This includes walking, running, jogging, aerobic dance, swimming, cycling and hiking.
What is Anaerobic Exercise?
This type of exercise includes intense physical activities which are performed for short periods of time. It requires lesser oxygen than aerobic exercises.
It helps in increasing the strength and muscle in the body. Hence, it is mainly performed by people involved in sports. Weight lifting, sprinting or any other exercise carried out at a high intensity is a part of this exercise.
Even sports like basketball, football and lawn tennis can be considered anaerobic exercises.
Why is Physical Activity Important?
Physical activity helps people to maintain a fit body structure. It keeps health risks and diseases at bay and allows a person to lose weight.
Exercising on a regular basis improves the energy levels and strengthens the body including the muscles. It enhances the blood circulation due to which each body part receives enough oxygen for it to work properly.
The functioning of the brain and the heart also improves.
Being fit has several added advantages to health as well. It reduces the chance of suffering from many diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Exercising on a regular basis keeps the immune system healthy and strong so that it can fight the pathogens entering the body efficiently. It improves sleep patterns and helps people feel more relaxed and stress free.
People believe that exercise will only show its effect if done for a long duration of time. However, too much exercise is harmful. It can cause damage to muscles.
Why Research Disagrees with ‘Only long periods of exercise causes weight loss’?
Studies have found that shorter periods of exercise have the same effect on body as compared to the workout done for a long period of time.
High intensity workouts done for a lesser amount of time show similar benefits as compared to moderate intensity workouts performed for a longer time.
Experiments reveal that it is not necessary for people to exercise for long time duration without any intervals in order to get better results. A workout done in short sessions with breaks in between yields similar results and is better for health.
According to a study, acute exercise or short lived exercise in people who are suffering from hypoxia, a condition in which the muscles are deficient in oxygen, helps in curing the problem.
Even a simple activity like climbing the stairs counts as an exercise. The results of a study say that it helps to lower the sugar levels in blood even when done for a short duration.
Hence, physical activity does not have to be performed for a long period of time in order to be beneficial to health.
Another study reported that increased physical activity involving high intensity exercises can lead to health problems such as cardiovascular disease. Exercise should be performed at a moderate level, exceeding which can deteriorate the health of the person.
Coronary artery disease can be controlled if exercise is included in the person’s lifestyle. However, physical activity can only help in decreasing the symptoms of this disease if done on a balanced level.
After increasing the duration of exercise above the threshold level, it is no longer beneficial and does not show any improvement.
Further studies show similar results. It is suggested that people work out for at least one or two hours. But researchers have found that high intensity workout for much shorter period of time shows the same result.
Also, vigorously exercising for more than ten minutes per day might not give any added health benefits.
Working out for much longer period of time than required can cause adverse effects on health. It weakens the vascular system or the circulatory system, exposing the body to many chronic ailments, most of them related to the heart.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which there is an increase in the glucose level in the blood and insufficient insulin is present in order to cure it. Exercise, even if done for a short period of time, has proved to help in increasing the levels of insulin in the body.
People often consider working out for a long period of time in order to lose weight. Research has proved that this is not correct.
Exercise done regularly for a short interval of time shows the best result. The main function of exercise is to burn calories. As long as there is enough expenditure of energy in the body, there is no need for high intensity workouts for an increased duration.
The data collected from a study shows that people who engage in high intensity working for a long time are prone to many vascular diseases and health risks.
Even though aerobic exercise is considered to be the best form of workout in order to remain fit, too much of it causes severe damage to health.
The injuries caused may turn into serious chronic health problems such as cardiac fibrosis (excess deposition of matrix proteins in the heart), artery calcification (calcium buildup in the arteries), diastolic dysfunction (abnormal functioning of the ventricles) and stiffening of the walls of the artery.
Athletes who regularly run in marathons were also found to have highly stiff arterial walls as compared to non-athletes.
In order to yield better results from acute workout, it is necessary to avoid inactivity as much as possible.
Rather than sitting or lying down for the most of the day, some activity should be done after every few minutes. This activity could be something as simple as just standing or walking.
Being inactive for a long period of time decreases the insulin levels in the body and causes fat accumulation.
Simply walking is considered the best exercise. It is easy and effortless so people of all ages can perform this physical activity.
Studies have shown that people who walk for at least 2.5 hours every week remain fit and show reduced body weight after some time. Since this activity is not intense, people tend to be consistent and are able to achieve the set goals.
It can be said then that too much exercise does not give the desired results. Rather, it further degrades the health of a person by increasing the risk to many health related diseases.
Everything should be done in moderation. These studies have proven that this includes exercise as well.
Though exercise for longer periods of time is not required, it is essential that the physical activity should be performed on a regular basis.
Also, various types of workouts should be included in the daily regime. This would allow all the parts of the body to benefit in some way or the other.