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The Effects Of Exercise: Is It For Everybody Essay, Research Paper
The Effects of Exercise:
Is It For Everybody
Exercise may be a matter of choice for the normal weight young person who has never had to diet, but for people who are trying to lose weight for life, those who are aging, have risk Factors for or have osteoporosis, are at high risk for cardiovascular disease or diabetes and those who would just like to continue their years with life in them, It is a necessity.
If people lose weight through dieting alone it means that twenty to fifty percent of the weight they dropped was lean body mass (muscle), this muscle mass loss is life threatening if it continues for long amounts of time. Muscle losses occur proportionately from every muscle in their body including their heart, so the longer they stay on a diet, the greater their need for exercise becomes.
Yet exercise does more than just protect their muscles it also fights fat and stabilizes their blood sugar level.
After losing weight by caloric restriction alone dieters complain about muscular weakness and flabbiness. This happens because large amounts of muscle tissue have been lost. Since lean muscle mass determines the calorie burning power of their body, muscle tissue should be preserved to maintain a high level of metabolism. Exercise preserves their muscles and even builds more lean tissue. Exercise will ensure healthier weight loss.
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In an exercise study that the writers of shape magazine conducted, obese people were placed on a one thousand calorie a day diet. Half of their subjects exercised three times a week while the other half didn’t exercise at all. After seven weeks on the diet the non-exercisers lost
eighteen pounds eleven of these pounds were fat losses and seven were lean muscle losses. The dieters who exercised lost twenty three pounds of fat and gained four pounds of lean muscle tissue Overall the exercising dieters experienced two times the fat losses of the non exercisers and elevated their metabolism by adding muscle tissue. (Shape Pavlou,Constrantine and Zak 142)
Exercise increases the body’s capacity to utilize greater amounts of oxygen, which is very important to their overall health. This is especially beneficial to dieters since greater amounts of oxygen allow for a greater expenditure of stored fat, and fat stored in cells inhibits oxygen uptake to obese people. (Pavlou, Constantine and Zak 142)
Exercise also helps slow down the process of aging. Two of the symptoms of aging are changes of body composition and in the persons ability to exercise. Sometimes the changes occur over a period of years and they may not notice them until the problem becomes very obvious. Their body weight will change a considerable amount. Between the ages of thirty and seventy they will gain, on the average between one-half and one pound per year. If they were typical Americans they can expect to weigh forty pounds more at seventy than they did at thirty and the majority of this weight gain is fat. They are gaining this weight because they are exercising less; they consume too many calories in relation to the amount of calories that they burn. (Katch and Katch 24)
As people grow older they have a decreased need for calories because their body’s
Physiological functions are changing and slowing down. These changes include reduced
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muscular strength, due to the loss of muscle mass. It is possible to counteract this loss of muscle by engaging in physical activity, which will delay muscle loss that accompanies aging.
Aging will also affect person’s bones. As they get older, osteoporosis, or loss of bone mass, increased bone porosity and a decrease in the thickness of the bone cortex makes them
Susceptible to various bone diseases as well as to breaks and strains. Individuals who engage in some program of regular exercise show a reduced loss of bone mass. (Katch and Katch 24)
Aging also wears down the neurological system. A thirty seven percent decrease in the number of spinal cord nerves occur as people age. The speed at which their nervous system functions slows. There is a significant loss in the elastic properties of their connective tissues. These neural function changes mean they will move and react far less quickly as time passes. Their movements will not only be slower but also not as precise. Most of these changes are subtle, occur over a period of time and are slow to be recognized.
The aging process also affects the cardiovascular system. As people grow older their heart doesn’t pump as fast, as efficiently or with as much force. Results from studies suggest that regular exercise enables older individuals to retain cardiovascular functioning to a greater extent than if they were not regularly exercising. The bottom line in the aging process is how well they feel. If they exercise regularly there is no doubt they’ll feel better than if they didn’t (Katch and Katch 24)
Regular exercise improves physical abilities and changes the structure and composition of their body but besides this exercise also brings about phychological changes. Exercise itself can make people more mentally alert. Pilot studies investigated the relationship between long-distant swimming and short- term memory, research found immediately following exercise the swimmers experienced an increase in ability to take in and process information. Other athletes
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also report an increased sense of smell, touch, taste and visual sharpness immediately following a workout. Research indicates that even relatively short endurance activities result in changes in short term memory capacity. (Pavlou, Konstantin and Zak 144)
According to David C Nieman in Exercise Testing and Prescription Physical activity improves health in the following ways:
? Reduces the risk of dying prematurely (i.e., improves life expectancy)
? Reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease
? Reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
? Helps prevent and treat high blood pressure
? Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
? Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, while improving mood state and self- esteem
? Helps control body weight
? Helps build and maintain healthy bones and muscles, and improves heart and lung fitness
Improves the life quality of older adults, patients with disease, and people of all ages And also states that moderate exercise during pregnancy serves to maintain the fitness of the mother and has been associated with several favorable pregnancy outcomes. (Nieman 601-3)
These benefits may accrue to male and females of all races across all age spans. You are never too young or too old to reap the health benefits of exercise (Williams 3)
Psychological effects of physical exercise can be divided into two general categories: Short term effects, ones that occur while people are exercising or shortly after, and long term effects, those that span interpersonal relationships and individual success. (Toporowski 90)
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The short-term effects of exercise may reduce stress by producing a tranquilizing effect on a persons mind. Aerobic exercise research has shown that even mild, continuous exercise is at least as effective in reducing muscular tension as tranquilizing drugs. (Tomporowski 51)
The long-term effects of exercise can improve a person’s ability to adapt to stress, due to an increase of adrenalin activity that results from repeated exercise. The body has an increase reserve in the steroids that are available to counter stress.
Research shows that when a person exercises, particularly with aerobics they are developing a method of biofeedback, so they can control changes in heart rate and respiration. When they do endurance type activity they stay in a target heart rate range. They will be able to maintain their heart rate at an elevated level, but at a level that does not produce a great deal of exhaustion. In this way, exercise, especially aerobics is a form of stress management.
When there is a general long lasting reduction in muscle tension from exercise, they also have the capability to alter their level of arousal. This carries over to other situations again; they become aware of bodily cues and can unconsciously deal with stress more effectively. (Tomporowski 90)
Their ability to accomplish everyday tasks will improve. With long-term exercise they are able to accomplish more work, are less likely to become fatigued and are better able to handle day-to-day psychological stress. (Tomporowski 92)
One reason for this is that when they exercise they begin to release stored fat as an energy supply, and their blood sugar level remains relatively constant throughout the day. Changes in blood sugar are associated with psychological disturbances. If their blood sugar decreases they
may experience disturbances in memory, make incorrect decisions, become irritable and get tension headaches. Throughout the average workday people expend a great deal of energy,
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toward the end of the day their blood sugar may drop and they may become less efficient in their job. If they are physically fit, however, they are able to perform more work and because their
blood sugar is kept at a constant level, they are able to stay clear headed, mentally alert and make correct decisions (Tomporowski 92)
Success through exercise is transferable to other situations, like work. Because of their long-term effects of exercise people feel more successful, more worthwhile, more productive and this makes them feel good about their job. Becoming physically fit may make them realize that they can achieve something entirely by themselves without being forced to do it. This attitude may lead to their success in other areas. There are psychological case studies that point out that people have changed their entire lifestyles through exercise. (Tomporowski 92-4)
A number of psychological changes occur when people confront a challenge and overcome it. Sticking to an exercise program will give them a sense of accomplishment; boost their self-esteem, their self-control. These states of mind are associated with the production and release of endorphins, which modulate pain and mood. By exercising, their circulation is increased and the availability of glucose to the brain is multiplied. (Pavlou, Constantin and Zak 142)
Exercise can improve a person’s sense of well-being. As they exercise, their body changes, fat deposits decrease. There is an increased definition of muscles and their body becomes shapelier and more attractive. Their body image will change depending on how they respond to the people around them. (Tomporowski 90)
Fifty to seventy five percent of all organic illnesses are either aggravated by or related to stress and emotions. Exercise acts as a natural tranquilizer to calm a persons system, comfort stress and relieve depression and anxiety. It’s been found to reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure
while stimulating mental capabilities. Exercise is also an important stress reliever when used as a behavior substitute for compulsive eating. (Pavlou, Constantin and Zak 142)
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Before engaging in strenuous exercise they should properly warm up their muscles. It is possible their body will naturally stretch correctly if they are careful about starting their workout slowly, but because stretching greatly reduces the risk of injury, it is worth taking a few extra
minutes of their time. Gradual stretching will slowly and gently prepare the joints for the full range of motion while the muscles elongate and relax. The best stretch is a mild one that doesn’t overtax their muscles that haven’t yet warmed up. They shouldn’t overstretch their muscles before they are warmed up. or they may invite “stretch reflex” an automatic natural response in which their muscles will contract to protect their body from overstretching.
If people stretch their muscles on a regular basis they will find themselves becoming more flexible with time. They should also stretch after they exercise as well as before for the maximum benefits.
According to the above information the question is not should you exercise, but how much (frequency) and what type of exercise should you participate in? Almost everyone can benefit from some kind of exercise if they are warmed up properly and they move in small incremental steps and don’t do too much at once. The best type of exercise program for losing body fat involves aerobic exercises, those that utilize the oxygen energy system. This type of exercise program is also the one that conveys the most significant health benefits. Frequency of exercise refers to how often each week one participates. As would appear obvious, the more often a person exercises, the greater the total weekly caloric expenditure and health benefits. In general, three to four times per week would be satisfactory, however a daily exercise program is recommended. (Williams 367-8)
Recommended that is for the average healthy person or those who have been cleared by their doctor to exercise. and again don’t overdo it in the beginning take it slow and easy. Start out with maybe walking a little and build up from there. In other words don’t start out from being
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sedentary and going straight to running a mile all at once build up to it or you can make a good thing something to regret and you may even harm yourself in the process so that you can not continue to exercise or much worse hurt yourself enough so that you wont want to exercise ever again. It actually is possible to over do exercise, and exercise can be detrimental to those few with extreme medical conditions Therefore exercise is beneficial to nearly all of the population.
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Katch Victor. and Frank Katch.
Shape Magazine “ Inside Exercise” July 1983, 24
Kerlan, Robert, and Ronald B. Machenzie,
Shape, “Stretch to Fitness.” April 1987 ,40 .
Nieman, David C.
Exercise Testing and Prescription A Health- Related Approach Fourth Edition
California: Mayfield 1999: 601-3
Pavlou, Konstantin, and Victoria Zak.
“Exercise it Works.” Shape March 1986, 46, 141-4.
Tomporowski, Phillip D.
“Exercise and your Emotions.” Shape, July 1983, 50-1, 90 –4.
Williams Melvin H.
Nutrition for Health, Fitness and Sport Fifth edition
Iowa: McGraw 1999: 367
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