Question: About 15 minutes into my aerobics class, my calves begin to cramp. Why does that happen, and how can I prevent it?
Answer: Aerobic exercises, especially those that involve bouncing, tend to overwork the large muscle in the calf. The, cramping problem might be avoided if you varied your exercise routine to stress different muscle groups.
Always be sure to stretch your calves before and after exercising: Stand about two feet from a wall and place your hands against it. Bend one knee and move the other leg out behind you, keeping that heel on the floor. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold that position for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg.
You can also help prevent cramps by drinking plenty of water both before and during strenuous workouts. j
Question: Exactly what is it that makes an exercise “aerobic”?
Answer: During aerobic exercises such as swimming, jogging, and cycling, the muscles demand a continuous supply of oxygen to burn the energy stored in their cells. That forces the body to improve its ability to use oxygen; this eventually benefits the lungs and heart by increasing the efficiency of breathing and pumping oxygenated blood.
Strength-training exercise, on the other hand, is usually nonaerobic; that is, the muscles derive energy from biochemical reactions that don’t depend on oxygen. However, such exercise is equally important and has complementary benefits.
RESTING HEART RATE I
Question: What is considered a “healthy” resting heart rate for a 47-year-old man, and how much can an exercise program lower that rate?
Answer: A normal resting heart rate varies from person to person but is usually between 60 and 80 beats per minute, regardless of age or gender. With exercise and proper aerobic conditioning, however, the resting heart rate can be between 50 and 60 beats per minute. Highly trained athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40 beats per minute.
RESTING HEART RATE II
Question: I’ve heard that your resting heart rate indicates how aerobically fit you are, and that a rate below average means you’re in good shape. But when should you take your pulse to determine that rate? Mine normally ranges from the upper 50s after waking to the mid-60$ later in the day. When I’m tense and under pressure, my heart rate can soar into the upper 80s. Which of these is my resting heart rate?
Answer: The best time to determine your resting heart rate is before you get out of bed in the morning (unless you had a nightmare, which could make your pulse race). The resting heart rate for a well-conditioned adult is between 50 and 60 beats per minute. So your waking rate in the upper 50s is admirable. However a heart rate lower than 50 in anyone other than a highly trained athlete could be caused by a problem involving the internal rhythmicity of the heart and should be checked.
Question: What are the benefits of exercising on a rowing machine?
Answer: This is one of the best ways to exercise your entire body. The sliding seat works your leg muscles, and the rowing action works the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back. It’s excellent for aerobic fitness and for building muscular strength and endurance. Rowing is also a very good way to bum calories and increase flexibility. However, since rowing involves a fair degree of back flexion, those with recurrent back problems should first check with their physician.
SWIMMING FOR STRENGTH
Question: I swim a mile six days a week. I don’t kick as hard as I’d like when swimming because it makes my back ache, so I exercise my legs by walking 5 miles once a week. Is this an adequate workout for upper- and lower-body strength?
Answer: The swimming gives your upper body a terrific workout. It tends to do less for your legs, especially if you don’t work them hard. You might want to balance your upper- and lower-body workouts by swimming one day and walking the next.
WEIGHT LIFTING AND FAINTING
Question: While working out with weights, I suddenly felt weak and started sweating from head to toe. I feared a “silent heart attack, ” but my doctor checked me on a treadmill and said I was okay. What happened? I’d like to avoid a repeat.
Answer: You probably performed a so-called Valsalva maneuver when you were lifting weights: If you strain without exhaling, your blood pressure rises and your pulse drops. When you relax—as the weights are lowered—blood pressure can plunge and you’re apt to feel faint.
Proper breathing while you’re lifting weights is essential. Before lifting, take a deep breath and then slowly exhale as you lift. The same warning applies to the use of weight machines.
VARICOSE AND SPIDER VEINS
Question: I’ve been doing high-impact aerobic exercise for the past 10 years. Now at 43, I’ve begun to notice both varicose and spider veins in my legs. Could the exercise be to blame?
Answer: Probably not. Heredity, repeated pregnancies, and work that requires prolonged standing will all contribute to varicose veins. No one knows what causes spider veins— small, black or blue vessels in the skin of the inner thighs and lower legs. But there’s no evidence that jolting exercise has anything to do with either spider or varicose veins. In fact, varicose veins are more common in people who are not physically active.
Health handbook introducing you to read the article: HEARING LOSS: DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE
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