INVITATION ARTICLES - Exercise Prescription for fitness by Maninder Ahuja

In this mechanized world the only muscles we are using are our fingers for various controls. The only weight we are carrying is our own body weight. In all, a sedentary lifestyle accounts for some 250,000 premature deaths annually. At any age of life exercise makes an integral part of physical as well as emotional and psychological fitness. But exercise has to be integrated into our daily life as much as we are brushing our teeth daily.

 

THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISE IN A NUTSHELL

• Even in the elderly woman, exercise can attenuate certain effects of aging and sedentary lifestyles.

• Regular exercise may decrease the incidence and severity of hot flashes, which occur in 75% of menopausal women.

• Menopausal women typically benefit most from exercise in combination with oestrogen replacement therapy.

• Weight-bearing exercise, resistance training and high-intensity fitness regimens can reduce a woman's risk of fractures and help retard sarcopenia.

• Cardiovascular effects of exercise are also dramatic, as studies have shown that perimenopausal women who are more physically active and gain less weight have lower elevations of LDL,

• Total cholesterol and triglycerides than their heavier, less active counterparts.

 

Components of fitness are

• Cardio respiratory fitness 

• Weight control and fat distribution and body composition

• Muscular strength 

• Endurance, 

• Flexibility

 

Various types of exercises are:

• Stretching exercises

• Toning exercises

• Range of movement exercises

• Strength building exercises and resistance exercises to increase BMD and decrease sarcopenia

• Meditation or relaxing exercises

 

Some precautions while doing exercises are

• Warm up is must

• Take plenty of water

• Room temperature should not be very hot

• Switch on the music to enjoy your exercise

• Vary your exercises so that you are not bored

• Make a group and enjoy your exercise and be cheerful.

• First learn proper way of doing exercise and then slowly you can add weights

• Don’t give up! Result would come slowly but would come definitely.

 

Intensity of exercise can be measured by various means:

1. Talk test

2. Heart rate test

3. Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale

4. MET Test.

 

Heart rate test is easy to use and is calculated form MHR. MHR (maximum heart rate is 220-age in years and targeted heart rate for moderate exercise should be 60 -80 % of your MHR and for severe intensity of exercise it can be 85-90% of MHR When ever you start exercising first thing is to do warm up and this can be done either by cycling or treadmill walking or just by stretching the group of muscles you are going to exercise. Take lots of water in-between, learn proper technique of doing these exercises and exercise whole body , but in one day you can do one or two group of exercises.

 

In this session we would tell about leg exercises which can be done at home.

 

Warm up

 

If you are doing with tread mill see to it that the surface is not inclined. Warm up can be by simple walking even. or by stationary cycling for 5- 10min.


If you have to lose weight then these exercises can be for longer period like 15-20 min. but for toning up and strength building warm up 5-10 min. is ok.

 

Walking as an exercise

Walking to be effective has to be at a brisk pace. Slow walking does not give any benefits of weight losing or even for cardio protection. You should do at a pace that you are barely able to talk.


Foot wear should be proper and ideally it should not be on hard surface. 

Stretching is a vital component of any exercise program. A brief stretch after any workout is a nice way to relax-and it helps prevent injury and maintain flexibility. Furthermore, stretching helps reduce back pain from osteoporosis, as well as other aches and pains.

 

Leg exercises

Leg exercises should be done to strengthen your all leg muscles and give them full range of motion and some of these exercises are following which can be done at home.

 

Hamstring Stretch

Sitting on the ground, with one leg straight and the other one comfortably bent in front of your body, bend at the waist and lean forward, keeping your back as straight as possible and don’t arch it.  Reach with your arms towards the foot until a stretch is felt under your thigh.  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds, any less than 15 seconds and the muscle will not conform to the new increase in length.  Do 3 reps, 3-6 times a day.  Any pain you feel with this exercise should only be a local stretching sensation to the back of your thigh area, without aggravating your condition.

 

 

Gluteus Stretch

Lying down on your back, bend your right knee, and place your left leg over the right leg, resting the outside of the left ankle slightly above the right knee.  Place your right hand around the outside of your right thigh and place the left hand around the inside of your right thigh.  Lock the two hands together.  Now pull forward towards your chest to achieve a stretch in the left gluteus portion of your buttocks.  Do the exact opposite to achieve a stretch of the right gluteus portion of the buttocks.  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds, any less than 15 seconds and the muscle will not conform to the new increase in length.  Do 3 reps, 3-6 times a day.  Any pain you feel with this exercise should only be a local stretching sensation to the back of your thigh and buttocks area, without aggravating your condition.

 

Calf Stretch

Start with stretching the right Gastrocnemius portion of the right calf area. While standing, place your right leg in front of you and your left foot directly behind you.  Place the toes of your right forefoot up against a door or other flat wall surface, keeping your heel down to the floor. Lean against a wall or other stationary object, both palms against the object. The leg you want to stretch is back, several feet from the wall, your heel firmly positioned on the floor. Your other leg is flexed about halfway between your back leg and the wall. Start with your back straight and gradually lunge forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. "It is important to keep your back foot straight and angled 90 degrees from the wall,"  .  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Any less than 15 seconds and the muscle will not conform to the new increase in length.  Do 3 reps, 3-6 times a day.  Any pain you feel with this exercise should only be a local stretching sensation to the calf area of the leg, without aggravating your condition.

 

Quadriceps Stretch

Start with stretching the left Quadriceps muscle.  While standing hold a solid surface for support and bend back your left leg.  Grab your left ankle and pull that foot to your left buttocks while simultaneously pulling your left thigh backwards while keeping your back straight.  Pulling your thigh backwards is a very important part of this stretch, as it will place the stretch in the mid-thigh instead of overloading the pressure on the knee.  Do the exact opposite to achieve a stretch of the right Psoas portion of your front upper thigh area.  Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Any less than 15 seconds and the muscle will not conform to the new increase in length.  Do 3 reps, 3-6 times a day.  Any pain you feel with this exercise should only be a local stretching sensation to the Quadriceps muscle area of the upper thigh, without aggravating your condition. 

 

 

Inner side of thigh muscles stretch or adductor stretch

Our muscles do not work alone when we perform certain exercises. Our adductor muscles are working simultaneously with others while doing squats, leg presses, or lunges. Make sure that your adductor muscles are in their good condition every time you perform stretching activities.


To stretch the groin simply place the feet together pull in toward yourself grab onto your ankles and apply force with your elbows down on your legs. If your doing this stretch correctly you'll feel a pulling on your upper inner thigh.

 

Front Lunge

The lunge is a dynamic exercise that targets the muscles of the thighs, back, and buttocks,
strengthening the bones in the hip and spine. The wide leg squat addresses the same muscles,
but the lunge includes balance and coordination as well.
Starting position: Stand next to table or counter with your feet hip-width apart, knees
slightly bent. Lightly hold on to the counter with one hand.
1-2-3-Forward: Take a large step forward with your right leg. Land on the heel of your right foot, and then roll your foot forward until it is fl at on the fl oor. Keeping your body erect, bent both knees so that your hips drop straight down. Your front thigh should be almost parallel to the floor, and the knee of your back leg should approach the floor. The knee of your forward leg should be over your ankle, not past your toes. The heel of your back leg will come off the floor. Your weight will be equally distributed between your front foot and the ball of your back
foot.

This exercise can be done with holding free weights in your hands, and as your strength goes on increasing you can increase weights or you can do with weights attached to a barbell and barbell is held at the upper part of your back.

 

 

 

Pause for a Breath
Return: Push back forcefully with the front leg to return to the starting position.
Pause for a breath, and then repeat the move.
Reps and Sets: Alternate legs as you step forward until you have done 8 reps with each leg – this is 1 set. Rest for a minute or two and do a second set.
This exercise can be done without weights or slowly you can add weights.

 

Wide Leg Squat

It strengthens the muscles of your front, back, and inner thigh as well as your buttocks and the hip-bones, i.e. hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteus muscles. Stand about 6 inches in front of the chair with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a deep breath and flex your knees and then aim your buttocks back and slowly lower yourself into the chair. Your knees should remain above your ankles; your knees should never go beyond your toes. Pause, and slowly stand. Then repeat the move 8–10 times and three sets of same repetitions.

 
     

 
         
     

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