Did You Know?
Following a regular exercise routine can offer a range of benefits from improved health to more energy to clearer thoughts. To establish and maintain a regular fitness program, it is important to set realistic goals. You can always develop routine over time as you learn to maintain a consistent rhythm. Sometimes zeal for exercise can get ahead of the body, and people end up struggling with overuse injuries. The long term goal should be to develop a healthy lifestyle over a lifetime.
The following bits of information should help to clarify certain aspects of an exercise routine. Please enjoy!
Strength training in runners is not a good idea
Running can be catabolic and actually “break down” tissue. No one should participate in the same activity/routine all of the time. Cross training is much better for the musculoskeletal system. As a result, strength or resistance training is a great idea for runners.
Exercise improves your brain
Cardiovascular exercise stimulates the health of your brain by improving brain power and activity. Your memory and learning capabilities are also improved.
Post-exercise muscle soreness has very little to do with lactic acid
Aggressive workouts can cause muscle soreness 24-48 hours post-exercise routine. This soreness is due mainly to individual muscle cell swelling and not lactic acid
Perform 8-15 reps and expect positive results
For most people, performing a regimen that requires 8-15 repetitions of any exercise will produce positive results. Lifting heavier weight and performing fewer repetitions will develop strength more quickly than lifting lighter weight for higher repetitions. Focusing on producing muscle tension is the key!
“True” strength gains develop over a long period of time
The first 3-4 weeks of any program stimulates the nervous system and enhances the neuromuscular “connection” between the muscles and nerves. The muscles need the nerves to “tell” them what and when to contract. Biochemistry changes that indicate a true strength gain will begin to occur approximately 5-6 weeks from the beginning of hard workouts
Abdominal exercises will flatten your stomach
The abdominal wall is made up of several groups of muscles. Excessive adipose tissue (fat) will cover the muscles, making the abdomen “stick out.” Abdominal exercises strengthen the underlying muscle structure, but will not “burn off” the fat. To reduce the fat tissue, you must reduce the caloric intake and perform cardiovascular exercises.
Rest is best when you are sore from exercise
By reducing soreness, you’ll actually feel more relaxed. Soreness or exercise-induced pain is often a result of swelling of the muscle cells known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS swelling increases the fluid volume within the cells. This causes greater pressure within the cells and distention of the cell’s membranes, leading to muscle pain. Low-level exercises (similar to the exercises that caused the pain in the first place) will enhance blood flow to the individual muscle cells and help to reduce the pressure and fluid volume within the cells. This will decrease the pain to the touch and pain when the muscles are used or stretched.
Fat turns into muscle with exercise or vice versa
Fat and muscle are two separate and different cell types. One cannot become the other regardless of exercise intensity. Muscle tissue is lean. If muscle is not used or does not have a neural innervation, the fat cells can infiltrate the muscle cells and give a “marbling” appearance. This greatly affects the muscle’s ability to generate force.