Patriot Monitoring Desk
It is very important that one is both physically and mentally fit. Exercising plays a vital role in our lives. It helps us in staying physically fit. Out human body is designed to move. If we don’t walk or exercise daily then we might easily get prone to different diseases overtime.
Just like eating food, going to work daily are some of the important aspects of daily life exercise is also important in daily lives and one should make it a habit to at least exercise 4 out of 7 days in a week.
There are a lot of benefits of doing exercise and people of all age groups can take advantage of exercise. Exercise helps in improving the strength and efficiency of cardiovascular system which will improve the flow of oxygen and nutrition’s in your body. If your cardiovascular system is working fine then you will find everything easy and ultimate happiness in your lives. Exercising daily will help you in improving your muscle strength. Your muscles will get stronger, tendons and ligaments will become flexible which will allow you to move easily and will protect you from sudden injuries. If you are having strong muscles and ligaments you are having very less chance of joint and lower back pain as all your joints are going to be in proper alignment. The coordination and balance of your body will also get improved.
Exercise will help you in maintaining your weight. If you are overweight, you can easily lose weight by exercising as your calories will burn during your workout period. Your muscles will develop and the metabolic rate of your body will be increased which will help you in burning more calories than normal even if you are not exercising. Exercise will also help in improvement of both oxygen level and blood flow in your body. With exercise the brain cells will be released frequently which help in production of the cells in hippocampus. Hippocampus is that part of the brain which helps in learning and controls the memory. The concentration levels in your body will be improved which will also lower the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
LDL cholesterol is the main substance which leads to blockage of arteries. Exercising regularly will decrease the LDL cholesterol level in the body and increases the HDL cholesterol. Other health advantages of exercise on your heart are reducing blood pressure which will help in lowering the stress on your heart. The heart muscles will also strengthen if you are exercising daily. If you are exercising daily and are taking a healthy diet your body is having very less risk of developing heart diseases. The blood glucose levels of your body will also get controlled with exercising. They will help in preventing or delaying the type 2 diabetes. Obesity is one of the prime factors of diabetes which can be controlled if one exercises daily.
Your health demand fitness and proper lifestyle; for these things you must do exercise. There is famous quote ‘’Exercise is good for your mind and soul.’’ Exercises keep your mind fresh and relax. You are mentally prepared for hard work which is necessary to do in every field of life. These are the some benefits of exercise. Here I am going to discuss some more important benefits of physical activity.
Lowering High blood pressure
Regular exercise eases your blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Fatness which has been a most complex problem is also linked with high blood pressure.
Habitual exercise decreases your diseases significantly related to the heart. Regular exercise keeps your muscles moving which maintain your body quite fit and you feel mentally settle down. Regular exercise also increases good cholesterol that includes high-density lipoproteins and lessens bad cholesterol that includes low-density lipoproteins.
Decrease dejection and anxiety
In these days, the mental tension and worries have become very common. Almost everybody has become a victim of it. So there must be any proper way through which you may lower your depression and for this purpose, regular exercise is a very fruitful activity. If you do exercise regularly, you stay away from dejection because it lessens the mental burden largely. So daily physical activity improves your mood and you feel quite happy.
Obesity is a major risk for many diseases but regular physical activity prevents you from obesity. Daily exercise lessons body fats and gets better the body ability to use calories. When physical activity is united with proper nutrition, it reduces the chances of fatness and prevents obesity.
Effect of exercise of bones
Weight-bearing exercise like walking, running and jogging keeps your bones strong. If you do exercise daily and consistently, it strengthens your muscles and bones.
Help to increase brainpower
In doing exercise you receive oxygen and nutrients .It balances the blood flow which increases your brainpower and you work properly with the fresh mind.
So these are the primary benefits of physical activity. We should give proper time to do exercise because is a famous proverb, ‘’those who do
Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories—endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they’re doing enough. Each type is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits. Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.
Some activities fit into more than one category. For example, many endurance activities also build strength. Strength exercises can also help improve balance.
Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities. Endurance exercises include:
Brisk walking or jogging
Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)
Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. They may help you stay independent and carry out everyday activities, such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. These exercises also are called “strength training” or “resistance training.” Strength exercises include:
Using a resistance band
Using your own body weight
Balance exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults. Many lower-body strength exercises will also improve your balance. Balance exercises include:
Standing on one foot
Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as well as for your everyday activities, including driving and getting dressed. Flexibility exercises include:
Shoulder and upper arm stretch
Important types of exercise
Strengthening, stretching, balance, and aerobic exercises will keep you active, mobile, and feeling great.
Exercise is key to good health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activity. “People do what they enjoy, or what feels the most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored,” says Rachel Wilson, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In reality, we should all be doing aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Here, we list what you need to know about each exercise type and offer examples to try, with a doctor’s okay.
1. Aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise, which speeds up your heart rate and breathing, is important for many body functions. It gives your heart and lungs a workout and increases endurance. “If you’re too winded to walk up a flight of stairs, that’s a good indicator that you need more aerobic exercise to help condition your heart and lungs, and get enough blood to your muscles to help them work efficiently,” says Wilson.
Aerobic exercise also helps relax blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, boost mood, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. Combined with weight loss, it can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, too. Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls.
Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. Try brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, or classes like step aerobics.
Marching in place
Starting position: Stand tall with your feet together and arms at your sides.
Movement: Bend your elbows and swing your arms as you lift your knees.
March in a variety of styles:
• March in place.
• March four steps forward, and then four steps back.
• March in place with feet wide apart.
• Alternate marching feet wide and together (out, out, in, in).
Tips and techniques:
• Look straight ahead, and keep your abs tight.
• Breathe comfortably, and don’t clench your fists.
Make it easier: March slower and don’t lift your knees as high.
Make it harder: Lift your knees higher, march faster, and really pump your arms.
2. Strength training
As we age, we lose muscle mass. Strength training builds it back. “Regular strength training will help you feel more confident and capable of daily tasks like carrying groceries, gardening, and lifting heavier objects around the house. Strength training will also help you stand up from a chair, get up off the floor, and go up stairs,” says Wilson.
Strengthening your muscles not only makes you stronger, but also stimulates bone growth, lowers blood sugar, assists with weight control, improves balance and posture, and reduces stress and pain in the lower back and joints.
A physical therapist can design a strength training program that you can do two to three times a week at a gym, at home, or at work. It will likely include body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges, and exercises involving resistance from a weight, a band, or a weight machine.
“Remember, it’s important to feel some muscle fatigue at the end of the exercise to make sure you are working or training the muscle group effectively,” Wilson says.
Starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
Movement: Slowly bend your hips and knees, lowering your buttocks about eight inches, as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Let your arms swing forward to help you balance. Keep your back straight. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times.
Tips and techniques:
• Shift your weight into your heels.
• Squeeze your buttocks as you stand to help you balance.
Make it easier: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet hip-width apart and arms crossed over your chest. Tighten your abdominal muscles and stand up. Slowly sit down with control.
Make it harder: Lower farther, but not past your thighs being parallel to the floor.
Stretching helps maintain flexibility. We often overlook that in youth, when our muscles are healthier. But aging leads to a loss of flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Muscles shorten and don’t function properly. That increases the risk for muscle cramps and pain, muscle damage, strains, joint pain, and falling, and it also makes it tough to get through daily activities, such as bending down to tie your shoes.
Likewise, stretching the muscles routinely makes them longer and more flexible, which increases your range of motion and reduces pain and the risk for injury.
Aim for a program of stretching every day or at least three or four times per week.
Warm up your muscles first, with a few minutes of dynamic stretches—repetitive motion such as marching in place or arm circles. That gets blood and oxygen to muscles, and makes them amenable to change.
Then perform static stretches (holding a stretch position for up to 60 seconds) for the calves, the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and lower back.
“However, don’t push a stretch into the painful range. That tightens the muscle and is counterproductive,” says Wilson.
Single knee rotation
Starting position: Lie on your back with your legs extended on the floor.
Movement: Relax your shoulders against the floor. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on your right thigh just above the knee. Tighten your abdominal muscles, then grasp your left knee with your right hand and gently pull it across your body toward your right side.
Hold 10 to 30 seconds.
Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Tips and techniques:
• Stretch to the point of mild tension, not pain.
• Try to keep both shoulders flat on the floor.
• To increase the stretch, look in the direction opposite to your knee.
4. Balance exercises
Improving your balance makes you feel steadier on your feet and helps prevent falls. It’s especially important as we get older, when the systems that help us maintain balance—our vision, our inner ear, and our leg muscles and joints—tend to break down. “The good news is that training your balance can help prevent and reverse these losses,” says Wilson.
Many senior centers and gyms offer balance-focused exercise classes, such as tai chi or yoga. It’s never too early to start this type of exercise, even if you feel you don’t have balance problems.
You can also go to a physical therapist, who can determine your current balance abilities and prescribe specific exercises to target your areas of weakness. “That’s especially important if you’ve had a fall or a near-fall, or if you have a fear of falling,” explains Wilson.
Typical balance exercises include standing on one foot or walking heel to toe, with your eyes open or closed. The physical therapist may also have you focus on joint flexibility, walking on uneven surfaces, and strengthening leg muscles with exercises such as squats and leg lifts. Get the proper training before attempting any of these exercises at home.
Standing knee lift
Starting position: Stand up straight with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
Movement: Lift your left knee toward the ceiling as high as is comfortable or until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold, then slowly lower your knee to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise 3-5 times.
Then perform the exercise 3-5 times with your right leg.
Tips and techniques:
• Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back.
• Lift your arms out to your sides to help you balance, if needed.
• Tighten your abdominal muscles throughout.
• Tighten the buttock of your standing leg for stability.
• Breathe comfortably.
Make it easier: Hold on to the back of a chair or counter with one hand.
Make it harder: Lower your leg all the way to the floor without touching it. Just as it is about to touch, lift your leg up again.
Diet Plan For Your Workout Goal
If your diet plan isn’t what it needs to be, your workout routine will fail completely no matter how perfect it is.
That is not an exaggeration. You could be using the single greatest workout program ever created and it will get you absolutely nowhere if you aren’t eating in a way that supports your goals.
What I’m trying to say is, your diet plan is equally as important as your workout routine (if not more so) in terms of getting the results you want to get.
So, what you need to do now is create the diet plan that will work best for you.
As you can imagine, fully explaining how to do that would require its own insanely comprehensive guide.
Until I get around to doing that, here’s the ultimate mini-guide to how to create your perfect diet plan.
Step 1: Calorie Intake
The most common recommendations for your daily calorie intake are:
• If your primary goal is losing fat, you need to create a daily caloric deficit of around 20% below your maintenance level.
• If your primary goal is building muscle (or increasing strength), you need to create a daily caloric surplus of about 250 calories above your maintenance level (about half that for women).
• Now let me explain what that actually means.
Calorie Maintenance Level
Every person has a certain number of calories that they need to eat each day in order to maintain their current weight. This is what’s known as your calorie maintenance level.
There are a bunch of complicated ways to estimate what your maintenance level is, but the quickest and simplest way is to just multiply your current body weight (in pounds) by 14 and 18.
Somewhere in between those 2 amounts will usually be your daily calorie maintenance level.
If you’re more active and/or think you have a fast metabolism, then you should probably use the higher end of that range. If you’re less active and/or think you have a slow metabolism, then you should probably use the lower end of that range.
If you’re unsure, just pick a number in the middle. We’ll make sure it’s perfectly accurate later on. Don’t worry.
Next, pick your goal…
If Your Primary Goal Is Losing Fat…
In order to lose fat, you must consume LESS calories per day than your maintenance level amount. Doing so creates a caloric deficit, and this forces your body to start burning your stored body fat for energy.
Meaning, a caloric deficit is a fat loss requirement.
As I mentioned before, the most often recommended caloric deficit is about 20% below your maintenance level. So, let’s do some basic first grade level math.
For example, if your estimated calorie maintenance level is 2500 calories per day, you’d figure out that 20% of 2500 is 500 (2500 x .20 = 500). Then you’d just subtract that 500 from 2500 and get 2000.
In this example, this person would need to eat 2000 calories per day to lose fat.
If Your Primary Goal Is Building Muscle…
In order to build muscle, you must consume MORE calories per day than your maintenance level. Doing so creates a caloric surplus, and this provides your body with the calories it needs to actually create new muscle tissue.
Meaning, a caloric surplus is a muscle building requirement.
As I mentioned before, the ideal caloric surplus for most guys is about 250 calories above your maintenance level, and around half that for girls. So, let’s do some basic first grade level math.
For example, a man with an estimated calorie maintenance level of 2500 calories per day would add 250 or so calories to it and get about 2750.
In this example, this person would need to eat about 2750 calories per day to build muscle at an ideal rate.
Ensuring That Your Calorie Intake Is Correct
Since our calorie intake is based on an estimate, it’s possible it can be a little off. Luckily, there’s a very simple way to double check it.
Weigh yourself once per week first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything (or weigh in daily and take the weekly average). Then, just monitor what your weight does from week to week.
• If your goal is losing fat, you should end up losing between 0.5-2lbs per week(closer to 2lbs if you have a lot of fat to lose, closer to 0.5lbs if you only have a little fat to lose, or somewhere in the middle if you have an average amount to lose). If you are losing weight slower than that or not at all, then reduce your calorie intake by an additional 250 calories. If you are losing weight faster than that, then increase your calorie intake by about 250 calories.
• If your goal is building muscle (or increasing strength), you should end up gaining about 0.5lb per week (or about 2lbs per month). And again for women, it should be about half that. If you are consistently gaining weight faster than that, reduce your calorie intake by about 250 calories. If you are gaining weight slower than that or not at all, then increase your calorie intake by about 250 calories.
Basically, just consistently weigh yourself each week and make sure your weight is moving in the right direction at the optimal rate that I just described.
If is it, perfect! Keep eating that amount of calories each day.
If it isn’t, then just adjust your calorie intake in 250 calorie increments until it is. Simple as that.
Step 2: Protein Intake
The most common recommendation for the daily protein intake of healthy adults who are weight training regularly is:
Between 0.8 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. An even 1 gram of protein per pound is probably the most common recommendation of all.
So, for example, if you weigh 175lbs, you’d shoot for about 175 grams of protein per day (or a little more if you prefer it).
High protein foods include chicken, fish, turkey, lean meats, eggs/egg whites, milk, protein supplements and to a lesser extent nuts and beans as well.
Step 3: Fat Intake
The most common recommendation for your daily fat intake is:
Fat should account for between 20-30% of your total calorie intake, with an even 25% probably being most common.
For that to make sense, you need to know that 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.
So, for example, if your ideal calorie intake is 2000 calories per day, you’d first figure out that 25% of 2000 is 500. Then, you’d divide 500 by 9 and figure out that you’d need to eat about 55 grams of fat per day in this example.
Foods high in the “healthy fats” that should account for the majority of your fat intake include fish, fish oil supplements, nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc.), seeds, and olive oil.
Step 4: Carb Intake
The most common recommendation for your daily carb intake is:
However many calories are left after a sufficient protein and fat intake have been factored in… those calories should come from carbs.
Don’t worry, it’s not as confusing as it sounds.
Basically, figure out how many calories your protein and fat intake will account for, and then subtract them from your ideal total calorie intake. However many calories you’re left with to reach that ideal total… those calories will all come from carbs.
Confused? It’s alright, I’ll show you an example in a second.
The majority of your carb intake should come from foods like fruits and vegetables, rice(brown, white, whatever), sweet potatoes, white potatoes (they are not evil), and various beans and whole wheat/whole grain products (unless of course you have issues digesting grains).
An Example Diet Plan
Now let me show you a step by step example of how to put it all together.
Let’s pretend we have a guy who weighs 175lbs and has the primary goal of building muscle. Let’s also pretend his calorie maintenance level is 2250 calories (just a completely made up example number).
Here’s how he’d create his diet plan…
1. Since he wants to build muscle, he’d need to create a caloric surplus. With a maintenance level of 2250 calories, he’d now eat about 2500 calories per day.
2. Next, he decided to go with an even 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Since he weighs 175lbs, that means he’ll need to eat about 175 grams of protein per day. Since 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, that means his protein intake will account for 700 calories each day (175 x 4 = 700).
3. From there he learned that about 25% of his total calorie intake should come from fat. Since this example person will be eating 2500 calories per day, he first figured out that 25% of 2500 is 625 calories (2500 x 0.25 = 625). Then, since 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, he figured out that he’d need to eat about 69 grams of fat per day (625 ÷ 9 = 69).
4. At this point he sees that he has 700 calories worth of protein and 625 calories worth of fat, which means a total of 1325 of his daily calorie intake is accounted for (700 + 625 = 1325). But, since he needs to be eating 2500 calories per day, he’d see he has 1175 calories that are not yet accounted for (2500 – 1325 = 1175). So…
5. That means those leftover 1175 calories will come from carbs. Since 1 gram of carbs contains 4 calories, this person would need to eat about 294 grams of carbs per day (1175 ÷ 4 = 294).
And that’s it. The most important parts of this example diet plan are done.
This example person figured out they will eat:
• 2500 calories per day
• 175 grams of protein per day
• 69 grams of fat per day
• 294 grams of carbs per day
Once again, these are all just completely made up amounts to show an example of how to set up your diet plan. That’s how you’d do it.
And yes, even though the person in the example above had the primary goal of building muscle, the diet would have been set up the exact same way if they had the primary goal of losing fat instead. The only difference is that they would have created a caloric deficit instead of a surplus in step 1.
The process of putting it all together would remain exactly the same.
But What About Everything Else?
Now, you may be wondering about certain other aspects of your diet besides your calorie, protein, fat and carb intake.
The thing is… you shouldn’t.
In all honesty, nothing else is that important. Everything described above is what will account for 99% of your diet’s effectiveness. Everything else is just a minor detail.
All that truly matters diet-wise is ensuring that you eat the right amount of calories each day along with an optimal amount of protein, fat and carbs that ideally come from mostly higher quality sources.
After that, it’s all a matter of doing whatever will best allow you to make that happen. What I mean is…
• Eat at whatever times of the day you want.
• Eat as many meals per day as you want.
• Eat whatever combinations of foods and nutrients you want.
• Organize you diet in whatever way is most convenient, enjoyable and sustainable for you.
That’s all that matters. Everything else is either extremely insignificant or just a stupid myth that is scientifically proven to not matter at all (like how you must eat 6 smaller meals per day… it’s bullshit).
Whatever is best for you, your life, your schedule and your preferences… that’s what you should do.
But Seriously, What About Everything Else?
Well, in addition to what I just explained, there’s really only a couple of additional tips worth caring about:
• Drink plenty of water each day.
• Surround your workouts with meals (aka your PRE and POST workout meals) that contain a nice amount of protein and carbs.
• Get the majority of your calories from higher quality, nutrient-dense sources. Some junky stuff is fine, but keep it to just a small part of your overall diet.
• Feel free to take a fish oil supplement and a basic multivitamin, use protein powder for convenience purposes, and possibly consider creatine as well.
And… that’s it.