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Exercise

The word exercise can mean the following:
  • An activity that is done with a specific motive to improve some component of physical fitness.
  • A setting in action or practicing.
  • Any activity designed to develop or hone a skill or ability.
  • Physical exercise

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Physical exercise

Physical exercise is the performance of some activity in order to develop or maintain physical fitness and overall health. Frequent and regular physical exercise is an important component in the prevention of some of the diseases of affluence such as cancer, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Exercises are generally grouped into three types depending on the overall effect they have on the human body:

Physical exercise is extremely important for maintaining healthy weight; building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and joints; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks; and strengthening the immune system.

Proper nutrition is as important to health as exercise. When exercising it becomes even more important to have good diet to ensure the body has the correct ratio of macronutrients whilst providing ample micronutrients, this is to aid the body with the recovery process following strenuous exercise.

Proper rest and recovery is also as important to health as exercise, otherwise the body exists in a permanently injured state and will not improve or adapt adequately to the exercise.

The above two factors can be compromised by psychological compulsions (eating disorders such as exercise bulimia, anorexia, and other bulimias), misinformation, a lack of organization, or a lack of motivation. These all lead to a decreased state of health.

It should be noted that Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness can occur after any kind of exercise, particularly if the body is in an unconditioned state relative to that exercise.

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Exercise benefits

Frequent and regular exercise has been shown to help prevent or to improve major illnesses such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, cancer [1] and depression, among others. Exercise can also increase energy and raise your threshold for pain. There is conflicting evidence as to whether vigorous exercise (more than 70% of VO2 max) is more or less beneficial than moderate exercise (40 to 70% of VO2 max). However studies have shown that vigorous exercise executed by healthy individuals can effectively increase opioid peptides (aka endorphins, a naturally occurring opiate that in conjunction with other neurotransmitters is responsible for exercise induced euphoria), positively influence hormone production (i.e., increase testosterone and growth hormone), and help prevent neuromuscular diseases. Some of these benefits can be realized by moderate exercise but to a much lesser degree.

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Common myths

Many common myths have arisen surrounding exercise, some of which have a basis in reality, and some which are completely false.

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Spot reduction

It is a common belief that training a particular body part will preferentially shed the fat on that part; for example, that doing sit-ups is the most direct way to reduce subcutaneous belly fat. This is false: you cannot reduce fat from one area of the body to the exclusion of others. Most of the energy derived from fat gets to the muscle through the bloodstream and reduces stored fat in the entire body. Sit-ups may improve the size and shape of core muscles but will not specifically target belly fat loss. Instead, such exercise may help reduce overall body fat, affecting all parts of the body as determined by genetics. In fact, belly fat will often be the last fat removed from the body.

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Only overweight people need a physical before beginning an exercise program.

Absolutely false. Only a physician can determine your ability to engage in an exercise program. Apparently healthy people can still have unknown medical conditions, such as a heart murmur, that can cause severe injury or death not only to themselves, but also to others that are dependent upon them, such as someone they are spotting.

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Muscle tissue will turn into fat once a person stops exercising.

False. Fat tissue and muscle tissue are fundamentally different. However, the more common expression of this myth "muscle will turn to fat" has a grain of truth. Although a muscle cell will not become a fat cell, the material that makes up muscle can in fact turn to fat. The catabolism of muscle fibers releases protein, which can turn to glucose that can be burned as fuel, and excesses of which can be stored as fat. Moreover, the composition of a body part can change toward less muscle and more fat, so that a cross-section of the upper-arm for example, will have a greater area corresponding to fat and a smaller area corresponding to muscle.

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Abdominal exercises will remove fat in my midsection.

False. You need to remove excess fat around your stomach in order to see your abs. The only way you're going to do this is with a low-calorie diet and a weight-resistance program while adding cardio exercise. Ab exercises will develop muscles, but they’ll still be under your fat.

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It takes hundreds of crunches to get ab muscles in shape.

False. Abdominal muscles are like any other muscle, they don’t respond to hundreds of repetitions. When you can easily do 15 reps of any ab exercise, you need to switch exercises or add resistance.

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You have to train your abs everyday if you want a six pack.

False. Ab muscles can be over-trained just like any other muscle. You need to give your six pack abs enough rest to recuperate. Over-training will result diminished gains and soreness.

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Men and women should train their abs differently.

False. Men and women all have muscle, which is trained the same way. For a woman to have a toned midsection, she must eat correctly, follow a cardio program and train her abs the same way a man would.

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If I stop training my abs they’ll turn to fat.

False. Muscles don’t turn to fat. If you stay active and watch what you eat you’ll keep your abs even if you stop training. But if you stop exercising and start eating junk, your abs will disappear.

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Too much exercise

Doing too much exercise can sometimes be harmful. The body needs sufficient time to rest, which is why most health officials say one should exercise every other day or 3 times a week. Without proper rest, the chance of strokes or other circulation problems is increased, and muscle tissue may develop slower.

Over-exercising does more harm than good. For many activities, especially running, there are also significant injuries that occur with poorly regimented exercise schedules. In extreme instances, over-exercising induces serious performance loss.

Stopping excessive exercise suddenly can also create a change in mood. Feeling depressed and easily agitated can occur from the body withdrawing from the natural endorphins it was receiving.

In addition, a recently discovered phenomenon is that of exercise hypertension, where the body's blood pressure spikes during intense exercise.

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Exercise helps brain function

Exercise seems to help brain function in three main ways: First, it increases the blood and oxygen flow to the brain second, it increases substances called growth factors that help create new nerve cells. Finally, it increases chemicals in the brain that help in cognition

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List of activities used as physical exercises

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List of classes of physical exercise

Some activities can fall into more than one class of exercise. For instance: cycling can be used for endurance or high-intensity interval training; weightlifting is resistance training and can be high-density exercise with certain workout designs.

Sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used. 'Dynamic' exercises such as steady running, tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. Conversely, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly.

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Breathing

Active exhalation during physical exercise helps the body to increase its maximum lung capacity, and oxygen uptake. This results in greater cardiac efficiency, since the heart has to do less work to oxygenate the muscles, and there is also increased muscular efficiency through greater blood flow. Consciously breathing deeply during aerobic exercise helps this development of the heart lung efficiency.

During breathing, males mostly use the intercostal muscles in the rib cage, females mostly use abdominal muscles. In strenuous exercise, it is likely that these differences diminish

 

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