Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Q - What is Fitness?

A - Fitness is a term that is used to help define the ability to stay in the best physical shape. It is all about eating right and exercising. For most, it is a matter of staying healthy as long as
possible. You see, your body is designed to work as a machine. When each part of the machine is cared for, the entire machine works the best that it can. When the machine is neglected either in part or in the whole, then the machine won’t run well and eventually won’t run at all.

Q – How can I maintain my Fitness?

A - By eating well balanced diet in the right quantity and doing appropriate exercises regularly.

Q – What is exercise?

A - Human body is designed for activity. Keeping it active by doing different jobs or range of movements of the limbs may be called as “Exercise”

Q – What are the benefits of Exercise?

A – Happiness in life can only be attained if you have good health. Exercise helps you to get good health.

Health Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity:

1) Reduced risk of premature death Reduced risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease
2) Reduced high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure. Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
3) Reduced high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol
4) Reduced risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer
5) Reduced risk of developing diabetes
6) Reduces or maintains body weight or body fat
7) Builds and maintains healthy muscles, bones, and joints
8) Reduced depression and anxiety
9) Improved psychological well-being ,enhanced work, recreation, and sport performance
10) Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling.

Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:

11) Increased maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
12) Improvement in cardiovascular/cardio respiratory function (heart and lungs)
13) Increased maximal cardiac output (amount of blood pumped every minute)
14) Increased maximal stroke volume (amount of blood pumped with each beat)
15) Increased blood volume and ability to carry oxygen
16) Reduced workload on the heart (myocardial oxygen consumption) for any given
sub maximal exercise intensity
17) Increased blood supply to muscles and ability to use oxygen
18) Lower heart rate and blood pressure at any level of sub maximal exercise
19) Increased threshold for lactic acid accumulation
20) Lower resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with high blood pressure
21) Increased HDL Cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
22) Decreased blood triglycerides
23) Reduced body fat and improved weight control
24) Improved glucose tolerance and reduced insulin resistance

Benefits of Strength Training:

25) Increased muscular strength
26) Increased strength of tendons and ligaments
27) Potentially improves flexibility (range of motion of joints)
28) Reduced body fat and increased lean body mass (muscle mass)
29) Potentially decreases resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure
30) Positive changes in blood cholesterol
31) Improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
32) Improved strength, balance, and functional ability in older adults

Q – What are the different types of exercises?

A – There are two basic types of exercises. They are Aerobic and Anaerobic.
Aerobic Exercise:- is any repetitive, continuous motion, such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping or aerobic dancing. Aerobic activity improves the efficiency of your heart and lungs, helps control weight and increases muscle and joint flexibility. Exercise also lowers blood pressure, improves circulation and raises good cholesterol levels.
Anaerobic exercises:- are short-time and emphasize building muscle, rather than burning oxygen. Examples include weight lifting, power lifting, sit-ups, push-ups etc. Anaerobic exercise can also increase bone mass.

Q – What is the good exercise program?

A – A good exercise program should include both aerobic and anaerobic activities. It should contain Warming up, Aerobic and Anaerobic exercises and Cooling down. A typical example is given here.
Warming-up --------- For 10 Minutes
Exercising ----------- For not less than 40 minutes. It depends on individual’s age, stamina requirement, etc.
Cooling Down ------ For 10 Minutes.

Q – How many times a week, I need to exercise?

A – Exercise should be done at least five days consecutively, each week. When you are exercising five days in a row, the body continues to receive the message that it needs to perform efficiently in order to keep up. It adjusts to meet the demand and the result is efficient operation of the whole system, all the time, even on the two days you don’t exercise. How many days a week and how long a session, largely varies from person to person. When in doubt consult your Doctor, who can advice, basing on your health conditions.

Q – What if I exercise all the seven days of the week?

A – It is not a good idea to exercise all the seven days but you can exercise for six days, if you want. Our body needs rest for a day or two, in order to build and strengthen the muscles involved in continuous workouts during the week. This way your body will be energized and be ready for the next week’s activities.

Q – What if I do the exercise at home, rather than going to the Zym?

A – Doing the exercise regularly is important whether you are going to Zym or not? At home the intensity of exercise may not be sufficient to reap all the health benefits. But going Zym will have some added benefits such as you can do the work-outs under the guidance of experienced staff, who design the appropriate program to fit your needs. When you are exercising in a group, you will naturally be motivated to do it on regular basis.

Q – What is Workout/Exercise Intensity?

A – Intensity refers to how hard your body works during an activity. In general, the higher your heart rate (that is, the faster your heart beats) the more intense the activity. It is expressed in % of Maximum Heart Rate.
Example: While you are exercising at 80% of your Maximum Heart Rate, you are exerting more than that when you are exercising at 70% ,60% or 50% of your Heart Rate.

Q – How can the Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) be calculated?

A – Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – your Age.
Example:- For a 20 year person Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – 20 = 200 and
For a 60 year person Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – 60 = 160

Q – What is the Target Heart Rate (THR) and how can it be calculated?

A - When you exercise, your body speeds up, and so does your heart as it works to meet your increased energy needs. But how much speeding-up of your heart is safe when you exercise? You need the answer to this question in order to maximize your exercise benefits while not overworking your heart. Your target heart rate isn't one rate but a range of rates (beats per minute, or bpm), expressed as percentages of your maximum heart rate, that are safe for you to reach during exercise. For most healthy people, the American Heart Association recommends an exercise target heart rate ranging from 50% to 75% of your maximum heart rate, in the sense that those who exercise at Heart Rate less than 70% MHR generally do not improve their heart fitness. You can even go up to 85% of your heart rate basing on your age, stamina, excellent health conditions and recommendations of your Doctor.

Fat Burning Exercises ----- 60% - 70% of Maximum Heart Rate.

Cardio Exercises ------------ 70% - 80% of Maximum Heart Rate.

Now that you know your target heart rate, check your bpm (take your pulse) regularly as you exercise. An easy way to do this is to count your heartbeats (pulse) for 10 seconds using your watch, and then multiply this number by 6 to get your bpm. You can feel your heartbeats in several ways, such as by placing your fingers lightly but firmly over the inside of your wrist or on your neck just below the angle of your jaw. (Be careful not to put too much pressure on the neck; this can slow the heart down and can be dangerous in people with blockages of blood vessels in the neck.) You can also place your palm over your heart and count the number of beats that you feel.

Q – What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

A - The body mass index (BMI) is a statistical measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height.It is expressed in number. As such, it is useful as a population measure. It is useful tool to estimate a healthy body weight based on how tall a person is.

Q - How can it be calculated?

A – Calculating Body Mass Index.

BMI = Weight in Kgs / Height in Cms/ Height in Cms X 10,000.

EXAMPLE:- For a person weighing 74 Kgs and Height 5Ft 9 Inches (175Cms)

BMI = 74 / 175 / 175 X 10,000 = 24.16 (He is in Normal Range)

BMI Weight Status

Less than 14.9 ------- Starvation.
15 –-- 18.4 ------------ Under Weight.
18.5 – 24.9 ------------ Normal.
25.0 – 29.9 ------------ Overweight.
30.0 -- 40.0 ------------ Obese.
More than 40.0 ------- Morbidly Obese.

Q – Is there any need to keep myself hydrated (Drinking Water) during the Workout period?

A – Since you will be losing the water content from your body, in the form of sweat while doing the exercises, you need to replenish it by drinking water frequently. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity recommends that we drink half a litre of water for every half hour we exercise. If your workout is going to be longer say 2 hours or so, you need to replenish other vital minerals like sodium, potassium by drinking Sports Drinks.

Q – What is Body Metabolism?

A – Body Metabolism is the process of transforming food (e.g. nutrients) into fuel (e.g. energy). The body uses this energy to conduct a vast array of essential functions. It varies from person to person basing on so many factors. Metabolism is a constant process that takes care of two seemingly opposite functions: anabolism that uses energy to create cells, and catabolism that breaks down cells to create energy. Higher the Rate of Metabolism, quickly we can lose the weight, with the same amount of Exercise.

Q – Can you suggest an ideal comprehensive Workout?

An ideal comprehensive physical activity should include the following activities.

1) Warming up Exercises
2) Aerobic Exercises.
3) Strength Training Exercises.
4) Flexibility Exercises.
5) Cooling down Exercises.

Warming up Exercises:-

A good warm-up is an essential part of a safe workout. Your body needs time to adapt to the idea of exercise. A warm-up serves two major functions. You can spend 10 minutes for this purpose.
1) It prepares the body for the stamina, which follows.
2) It prevents injuries.

Aerobic Exercises:-

Are any repetitive, continuous motion, such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, jumping or aerobic dancing. They will improve the efficiency of your Heart and Lungs. For best results aim to exercise at 70% - 80% of your Maximum Heart Rate, at least 20 Minutes a day for 6 days a week.

Strength Training Exercises:-

Are short term and emphasize building muscle, rather than burning oxygen. Examples include weight lifting, power lifting, sit-ups, push-ups etc. Done several times a week helps building strong bones and muscles and makes everyday chores easier for you. With more muscle, you burn more calories, even at rest.

Flexibility Exercises:-

Also called stretching, help keep your joints flexible and reduce your chances of injury during other activities. Gentle stretching for 10 to 15 minutes a day for 6 days a week helps your body warm up and get ready for aerobic activity.

Cooling down Exercises:-

The function of a cool-down is to return the body gradually to the non-exercising state. There are two phases in the cool-down period. You can spend 10 minutes for this purpose.

1) Intensity reduction
2) Stretching

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