Exercise doubt busters
“Should I exercise or should I skip it?”
This is the question that pops up in our minds ever so often.
Dispel those recurring doubts. And overcome the exercise “excuses” syndrome!
1. “I cannot start exercising at this age, I am too old.”
Age cannot wither you! You are never too old to exercise. Chalk out a fitness program
that is suitable for your needs. Exercise will make you fitter, tone your muscles,
strengthen the heart and lungs. Your strength, efficiency and endurance will improve.
2. “My knee, my back, my neck, my heart, my arthritis,…..how can I exercise?
Don’t let your mind rule your body. You cannot be a defeatist. Your body is unique; keep it strong and fit with a well-designed program to suit your fitness level, ability and needs.
3. “I lead such a busy life. I travel. How do I find time to exercise?”
The world is too much with you? Prioritize “YOURSELF’. Set your health goals. Design a ‘five to seven days a week program’ to improve your health and achieve cardiovascular fitness, strength and endurance.
4. “I am obese. How can I start exercising? Don’t I have to lose weight first?”
Lifestyle, diet and exercise go together. The strategy has to be two-pronged: cut calories and burn calories. Arrive at an effective diet-cum-exercise regimen. Eat small meals, maintain balanced nutritional levels and exercise regularly. Maintain a weekly chart, set your goals.
5. “I am not losing enough fat. Should I sweat more to lose more fat?”
There are different reasons why some people sweat more than others. It could be intensity of exercise, fitness level, body weight, heredity, dense clothing, to name a few. It’s possible to burn a significant number of calories without breaking into a sweat; for
example, when you take a walk or do light weight training.
6. “I can do only light exercises, but are they as beneficial as strenuous exercises?”
If you want to improve your aerobic capacity and your athletic performance, opt for strenuous workouts. Strenuous exercise does not always contribute to a health advantage. Light and moderate exercises such as walking, can aid weight loss, reduce anxiety, stress and blood pressure.
7. “If I opt for strength training, I feel that it will build muscle and bone and do nothing for weight reduction.”
Strength training has a number of benefits. It improves the body’s metabolism, strengthens bones and tones the body. Strength training combined with aerobic exercise will help you lose weight. Make sure you follow a nutritious, low-fat diet.
8. “When I stop exercising, my muscles will turn into fat.”
Muscle and fat have two separate and distinct properties. Muscle cannot turn into fat and fat cannot be converted into muscle. When you stop exercising the trained muscle eventually gets back to its pre- exercise level.
Namita is a certified clinical exercise specialist and lifestyle and weight management consultant. She is currently attached to Bombay Hospital as their clinical and wellness specialist.