Exercise Weight Loss Workout Anatomy

A good workout involves much more than lacing up your sneakers and hopping on the treadmill. A quality fitness regime not only helps you shed excess pounds, but also helps you build endurance and target the areas of your body you’d like to change, all while keeping you safe from injury.

In order to stay safe while working out, you need to perform the right kind of warm-up exercises and cool-down stretches. These will help your body adapt to your fitness regime and can keep you motivated and ready to work out every day.

Warm-up Exercises

The best warm-up exercises for any workout focus on preparing your body to use the muscles that you’ll be using most while you exercise. However, regardless of the workout you choose, warm-up exercises should help you:

  • Elevate your pulse: Running or jogging for a short distance can help your body anticipate the more extreme movements you’ll perform in your exercise regime.
  • Loosen joints: You need to “awaken” your joints before you launch into your routine. Target as many body parts as possible, especially your ankles, shoulders, arms and knees.
  • Stretch: You should always stretch before and after your workout. This may reduce your chance of injury and eliminate stiffness.

Cool-down Stretches

Cool-down stretches and exercises help your body return to its natural resting state after your workout. In addition to reducing your pulse and perspiration, stretching clears lactic acid, blood metabolites and muscle metabolism byproducts, all of which increase when you exercise.

Cool-down stretches also redistribute the blood throughout your body, which tends to concentrate in your lower body during a workout. It’s important to get the blood back to your lungs and heart, especially after high-intensity workouts.

Length of Workouts

Depending upon your overall health and familiarity with exercise, your fitness regime should include workouts that last between 10 and 90 minutes per session. If you’re a beginner, take things slowly and build your endurance so that you can tolerate a high-intensity workout that lasts for more than 30 minutes. You can also do short sessions (between 10 and 15 minutes) multiple times a day to improve your fitness and endurance.

Frequency and Intensity of Workouts

If you aim to lose a large amount of weight, perform workouts of moderate intensity at least five times a week. If you’d like to maintain your overall tone, you may only need to work out just two or three times a week, focusing primarily on stretching.

Also, make sure that your fitness regime isn’t too intense. Many people utilize the “talk test” to gauge whether their workout is too vigorous: If you can carry a conversation while working out, you’re at the appropriate intensity level. If you’re gasping and panting, you’ve gone too far. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting a new workout and weight loss program.

Resources

Exercise Goals. (n.d.). Cool down exercises and stretches- Cool down your body after workouts. Retrieved October 4, 2010 from http://www.exercisegoals.com/cool-down-exercises.html

Miller, J. (n.d.). 3 Different Tips for Warm-Up Exercises. Retrieved October 4, 2010 from http://ezinearticles.com/?3-Different-Tips-For-Warm-Up-Exercises