Exercise And Pain Management
No exercise or health regimen is compete if it does not include adequate aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is any activity which raises the heart rate and speeds up breathing, thus delivering more oxygen to the body. It is often also referred to as cardiovascular exercise or “cardio.” Generally speaking, aerobic workouts involve large muscle groups engaged in rhythmic movements.
Recent medical research has confirmed the importance of aerobic exercise. Regular cardiovascular workouts have been shown to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol. Aerobic exercise is also associated with a longer lifespan. It is effective in combating depression and even dementia in seniors. And of course, aerobic exercise is crucial for losing weight and maintaining weight loss.
There are nearly an infinite number of options for aerobic workouts. Any activity which gets you breathing heavy and makes your heart beat fast can qualify. This might include jogging/running, biking, playing soccer, swimming, dancing, jumping rope, and many more activities. There is no need to stick to one particular form of aerobic exercise either; a varied workout regimen is more likely to work a wider variety of muscles and muscle groups, and is often easier to stick with.
Physicians and trainers do recommend certain guidelines when performing an aerobic exercise workout. Any cardio routine should start with about ten minutes of warm-up, followed by 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise, and then ten minutes of warm-down. The warm-up and warm-down are crucial and should never be skipped. Going straight from “cold” muscles at rest to high intensity exercise is too stressful on the body and can lead to muscle strains and pulls. Similarly, ending a workout without a warm-down can lead to stiffness and soreness.
During the twenty minutes of heavy aerobic exercise, ideally the heart rate should reach around 160 beats per minute. This will vary somewhat depending on age and overall physical condition. Generally speaking, older individuals should seek a lower target heart rate of 150 or 140 beats per minute. Do not overdo aerobic exercise. For many people, a brisk half hour walk has sufficient health benefits, and no more vigorous exercise is nevessary.
Do not neglect to stretch after any aerobic workout. Aerobic exercise delivers blood to the muscle tissue. So-called “warm” muscles should be stretched after dynamic exercise to ensure suppleness and prevent muscle stiffness.
With a regular routine of calisthenics, stretching and aerobic exercise, any person can enjoy a long life of fitness and health.