Five Phases of Exercise

5 Phases of exercise

Setting the Stage for Fitness

When we are active we burn calories and if we are active in a proper way, we will burn fat calories. If we are active in an improper way, we burn the protein in our muscles and vital organs or the carbohydrates which supply our nervous system and brain. But what is proper exercise?

When we are at the track we often see the guy who drives up, parks his car, bolts out, commences to run around the track at top speed and after 5 minutes (or a few laps) stops, heads for his car and is off. At the fitness clubs we see women jump into an in-progress aerobics session, bounce around for a few minutes, and then walk off. No doubt, they are congratulating themselves because they think they have just exercised.

These people are either unaware of or not phased/fazed by the importance of the five phases of an exercise session. We have seen many people start an exercise program with great intentions and then suddenly quit. Usually, they quit because of pain and injury. Sometimes, they quit because they don't see any results.
The five basic steps to be followed at each exercise session have proven to give optimal results and minimize the chance of injury during exercise.

1. Warm Up

Five Phases of Exercise

Function: To prepare and "'alert" our body for the upcoming physical activity.

A warm up at the beginning of an exercise session is one of the best ways to prevent pain and injury. Despite its importance, this step is often ignored by exercisers - even experienced athletes

For a proper warm up, simply perform the exercise at a slow pace for about 5 minutes (or until your pulse count is above 100 beats per minute-bpm). For example, start your brisk walk with a slow 5 minute stroll or be at your aerobics class at the beginning of the session (a good instructor will always start the class with a warm up).
2. Pre-Exercise Stretch
Function: Relaxes and lengthens our muscles.

Once we have warmed up our body (our pulse count is over 100 bpm), it is time to stretch the muscles we are about to use. The leg stretches and upper body stretches, shown on the opposite page, relax the muscles that are used for walking a track or riding a bicycle. Relaxed muscles tend to improve reaction time and efficiency and our performance as well as reducing our risk of injury.
3. Exercise (for example; Walkaerobics, walking, dancing, swimming stationary biking))

Function: To improve cardiovascular fitness and/or burn body fat.

An aerobic activity should increase our pulse count to 40% - 60% of our maximum heart rate. (link karvonen formula and or heart rate chart) The activity should be done for 12 - 30 minutes, and definitely not more than 60 minutes per session.

4. Cool Down

Five Phases of Exercise cooldown

Function: To gradually return to resting state.

If we stop short after exercising, it takes time for our body to regain homeostasis. Meanwhile, our heart is still pumping at an accelerated pace and blood pools in our extremities. We get swollen fingers and feet. This causes dizziness because low blood flow, and therefore less oxygen, is getting to our brain.

The cool down is the same as the warm up, but in reverse. Just do the exercise or previous activity at a slow, temperate pace for about 5 minutes or until your heart rate has gone down below 100 bpm.


5. Post-Exercise Stretch

Function: Prevents soreness and increases flexibility.

This is the optimal time to Static stretch (link to "To stretch or not to stretch".) Your body is warm and your blood is pumping at a moderate pace so you can stretch further without causing an injury. Besides increasing your flexibility, stretching at this point squeezes out the excess waste products that have built up in your muscles during exercise. If you do not stretch at this time, the waste buildup causes muscle soreness and fatigue.
Chapter 13 Eat Without Guilt 1991 Norma Goodridge Furman, Stash Furman et al .revised July 27, 1997

Walk Aerobics Video Cover

Indoor Full body exercise
low impact aerobics
Simple steps
Great music

Static Stretching

Improve flexibility
No pain

Quantum Cleansing

Relaxation techniques

Cancer Fighter

Techniques to battle and
To conquer the beast

Cadence Trail

Walking Program
Hear nature's sounds
Follow the beat



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