It is important to note that exercising at the right intensity is just as important as exercising at all.
Right for you However, if you have always been an athlete and like to train hard, grunt and sweat, and push yourself to the max, then this type of workout is just not going to cut it for you. If you train harder, say at 80% percent of your maximum heart rate, then you can give yourself the option of reducing your workout to 30 minutes. Very high intensity exercises such as power lifting, sprinting, interval training and plyometrics increase adrenaline levels, but prolonged activity at high intensity can have an undesired effect. Over time, you would start to feel the effects of overtraining: poor sleep, inability to see marked improvements in time or speed, and, in some cases, the inability to lose weight. It is important to note that exercising at the right intensity is just as important as exercising at all. This is true at all levels of exercise: it must be right for you. Mind and Body Some other points worth making about exercise go beyond the strictly physical. Time spent exercising is a vacation from work, the kids or the “to do” list – at best exercise is a
meditation. Keeping your appointments with yourself at the gym is one way to demonstrate that you are in control and can take responsibility for the positive accomplishments you get. We all feel better about ourselves when we can do this. And not to forget that there is a little narcissist in all of us. Although we may not initially admit that we work out to look good, exercise does improve our posture and our physical appearance and we carry ourselves with a little more confidence. Others pick up on this positive energy. Some of us are natural born athletes, others are weekend warriors. Some people exercise because they have an intellectual understanding of the importance of it. The benefits are similar. If also having science on your side inspires you to get moving – great. In addition to all the very positive intangibles, it is a scientifically proven fact that good, regular exercise will make all of us a little happier. Celine Saroyan is a kinesiologist and certified strength training coach. She is the Fitness Director at Verity, www.verity.ca, a private club for women in Toronto.
The Happy Magazine