Tid Bits of Info
- Strength gains occur several months after the strength program.
- VO2 max is very dependent upon genetics, but you can train the cardiovascular system to improve it.
- Max heart rate is 220 – your age.
- People ages 50-80 years old who have not strength trained have been known to lose 50% of their muscle mass.
- Seek the advice of a nutritionist and Physical Therapist to design or modify your program.
How are you doing with your exercise routine? At the start of the year, many of you made a promise to get in shape and change bad health habits. The new year and new decade offered a perfect time to have 20/20 vision about health and fitness. It is so easy to let the demands of daily life keep us from a consistent exercise routine. After a while, we may not even recognize the person staring back at us from the mirror.
A good exercise routine involves cardiovascular, strength conditioning, and weight loss as needed. The problem with most people is being consistent with the new routine. If there is no consistency, the results will be subpar and there will be no positive feedback that helps to motivate an individual to continue the process. There are physiological events that slow down the progression of an exercise routine and in some instances, just sticking to the program will get you to the place that you want to be in when you started the exercise program. Patience is a virtue when it comes to “getting in shape.”
Cardiovascular fitness is extremely important because it addresses every aspect of getting blood flow to all parts of the body. Every body part needs richly oxygenated blood to function properly and waste product removed from the cells. Efficient blood flow is dependent on a strong heart beat and getting oxygen through the blood stream relies on healthy lungs. When someone performs cardiovascular exercise consistently, they strengthen the heart and muscles of respiration.
Performing a cardiovascular exercise routine a minimum of 3x/week for 30 minutes (approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate) can truly make a significant difference in someone’s cardiovascular health. The intensity does not have to extreme, but training at a more intense pace will enhance cardiac fitness more quickly and thoroughly. Performing the routine more than 3x/week and for a longer duration can speed up the process, also. One main measure of cardiac fitness is VO2 max. VO2 max is a measure of how well the body utilizes oxygen when it is working the hardest. A high VO2 max corresponds with good aerobic conditioning.
Strength training requires a great deal of effort and time. The effort aspect deals with adding resistance to the exercise routine that will be sufficient to “overload” the muscle mass that is being targeted during a specific activity. When someone begins a strength development program, the true biochemistry change that must occur in a muscle when true strength gains occur does not happen during the first 3-4 weeks. During this time period, the nerves become very efficient with their production of nerve “signals” that are sent to a particular muscle or group of muscles. The increased efficiency, is known as increased neuromuscular activity and this will make the muscle work better. If the program is continued for several more weeks, the strength of the muscle will begin to experience changes at the muscle level that can be linked to true strength gains. Long term strength conditioning is recommended to avoid injuries, lessen the incidence of falls and helps to live a more satisfying life.
Weight loss can be difficult to achieve and requires a great deal of consistency and discipline. It has been said that at least 80% of your successful weight loss will be dependent upon what you eat. Most healthcare professionals are big advocates of exercising while eating properly in order to lose the desired weight. Seek help from a nutritionist on your diet and a Physical Therapist for the exercise routine.
Hopefully you have been steadfast with your exercise program because the benefits of the program will reward you. You will feel more energetic, stronger and have more stamina for all of the rest of your life. If you have not been able to maintain your program for whatever reason, forget it and start the process over. Don’t wait because it gets harder to return the longer you wait and if you are patient you will experience a positive results in a couple more weeks.