That New Year resolution to start chasing pavements ÔÇô not like British singer Adele- or hiking up Kgale will not only give you a nice figure, but will also strengthen your ticker, make you more intelligent and a better lover.
It however takes more than just putting on your running shoes and sprinting off, there is actually a science and an art to it, explains fitness coach, Lorato Lot Lorah Marope
Taking that first leap into the pavement triggers a heart skipping, muscle tightening up and breath taking experience which is fortunately short lived. Ten minutes later, you’ve moved beyond that initial shockwave and floated into a world where push-ups are almost as comfortable as walking.
When one begins to work out, every part of their body synchronises to make their movements effective, meaning some parts will shut down while other parts work harder. A good example is that your heart will beat faster to pump blood to your muscles, while your stomach will slow down because digestion is not the body’s main priority anymore.
“The more you exercise, the more your heart works. It becomes much stronger as it increases its pumping or beating mode more than the heart of a stationery body. However one must be careful not to over exercise,” explained Marope adding that exercise plays a vital role to the heart as it strengthens it.
One must also be wary of joints and bones, as intense exercise can place as much as five or six times more than your body weight on them. Peak bone mass (the maximum amount of bone a person has during their life) is achieved in adulthood and then begins a slow decline, but exercise can help you to maintain healthy bone mass as you get older.
“Exercise keeps bones healthy and active and it is imperative that one does a few short stretches. Doing a few arm stretches while you are seated on your office chair or a one minute full body stretch at home adds a positive impact to your bones and joints. Exercise gives bones a healthy and active feel.”
She however warned that people should not shock their bodies. She discourages waking up and immediately going outdoors for a sprint because it shocks the body, one should rather start with indoor exercises to ready the body, proceeding onto jogging then sprints. When the exercise heads towards the end, the same exercises should be repeated but now from the sprints to the less effective exercises.
Weight-bearing exercise is actually one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis (a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone). Your bones become very porous and soft as you get older hence, more brittle especially if you are inactive.
She says, “Increased blood flow during exercise also benefits the brain. It helps the brain perform much better. As a result you tend to feel more relaxed after a workout. Furthermore, exercising regularly will promote the growth of new brain cells resulting in improved learning capabilities”.
“The part that will instigate women to fall in love with work outs is the outcomes that are revealed on the face after an active exercise. As one works out, skin pores will open, allowing sweat out. Blood vessels dilate, bringing heat towards the skin, resulting in warm skin during work outs,” she said.
Still on the skin, an environment where one works out should be chosen well. Avoid sunlight as it will hit the skin directly causing damage to it. If anyhow contact with sunlight will be encountered, one should wear a sunscreen lotion with an SPF.
“Burning fat, as most use work outs for, is one of the things that may occur in your body during exercise. Body fat is stored energy. The mitochondrion converts most of what you eat into energy but if you consume more than you need in a day, your body stores the excess for later use. If you consistently consume more energy than you need, your fat cells will continue to enlarge. If you store more fat than the existing cells can hold, your body will make more cells. The more energy you use, the more fat you burn. Increased blood flow also adds an input in burning fat,” commented Marope.
Exercise is not only a well-documented means of maintaining muscle and losing weight, it can also rejuvenate your sex life.
“Counting on with age, a person who exercises, even when not regularly, has a better sex life than one who does not work out at all,” concluded Marope.