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Does It Matter When You Get Your Workout In? Although it’s better to exercise than not, there are certain times when it’s better to exercise if you’re trying to burn fat and or build muscle. In a perfect world, you could exercise for 30 to 60 minutes first thing in the morning and control your caloric intake for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, things like making money and life get in the way of an ideal physical fitness routine. An important factor to remember is exercise increases your appetite 30 minutes after completion. Of course a workout is better than no workout for chronic disease prevention and heart health, but if you want to burn fat, lose weight, and/or build muscle, you must control your caloric intake in the hours following your workout. When you wake up, glycogen levels are low so you will burn fat sooner into your session and testosterone levels are high so you will build more muscle according to Olympic swimmer and founder of Burn Fitness, Tom Williams, PhD. Of course, this is assuming you sleep during the night time hours. So, if you are able to exercise first thing after you wake up, this is step one.


Body Composition Body composition refers to the amount of body fat you have, versus the amount of lean muscles, bones and organs. There are several tests that can be used to measure body composition. The most reliable is underwater weighing, but due to the size and expense of the equipment, this type of test isn’t common. Many doctors, gyms and health clubs use a pinch test instead. Once you’ve had your own 5 components of physical fitness measured, you can use this information to form a fitness regimen tailored to your needs. If you’re weak in cardiovascular endurance, you’ll need aerobic conditioning in the form of jogging, swimming, cycling or even sports. Strength training exercises can help improve muscular strength; a strength training exercise that uses low weight and high reps can help improve muscular endurance. Yoga and pilates can help improve overall flexibility. Following good exercise practices can also help; warm up and stretch before your workouts, then cool down and stretch after to keep your muscles from shortening. Flexibility often improves rapidly with practice. The more you exercise, the lower your body mass index should become as you lose weight. An effective fitness program includes all 5 components of physical fitness. While it’s acceptable to emphasize exercises for one or more weaker components, be sure not to neglect the others. Also, any strenuous exercise in one muscle group or fitness component should be followed by 24 to 48 hours of rest for that area, to allow it to recover.


Why is Exercise Important? Have you ever heard the expression “use it or lose it”? It’s true! If you don’t use your body, you will surely lose it. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as smoking! Helps Prevent Diseases Our bodies were meant to move -- they actually crave exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process. Improves Stamina When you exercise, your body uses energy to keep going. Aerobic exercise involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, such as walking and bicycling. It improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work. As your conditioning level improves, your heart rate and breathing rate return to resting levels much sooner from strenuous activity. Strengthens and Tones Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become more firm and toned. You not only feel better, but you look better, too!


Muscle Soreness When you use muscles you have not used for a while or try a new exercise or training technique, it is normal to feel a dull ache of soreness in the muscles that were trained. This pain is caused by microscopic tears in the fibers of the connective tissues in your body-the ligaments that connect bones to other bones, and the tendons that connect muscles to bones. This microtrauma may sound harmful but is in fact the natural response of your muscles when they experience work. This is the primary reason it is so important that you get enough rest between specific muscle workouts. Each time you work out with weights, you cause this “damage�--these tiny tears in your muscles; they need ample resting time to rebuild and become even stronger, bigger, and more firm. Pain During or Just After a Workout During a workout, repeated contractions cause lactic and other acids, as well as proteins and hormones, to build up in muscle tissue. This can cause pain even without injury. But if you experience a sharp, continuous pain, or pain accompanied by a burning sensation, stop lifting and get it checked.



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