A retired civil servant sent me above text. Now let me complete it. “Doc, I have not exercised in 10 years, when I read your article on exercise, which advised us to regularly take casual walks as a form of exercise, I obeyed. Do you know that after about 20 fast steps I started panting, and became very worried and tired. Doc what is wrong with me? This led me into a reflection on the “Physiology of exercise “.
Does one need a “genetic gift” of speed to be a world class runner, or is it all due to training? What happens to your heart rate when you take an exercise test, that increases in intensity each minute. What changes occur in your muscles as a result of an endurance training program, that allows you to run at faster speeds over longer distances? And why do you suddenly get tired like our friend when you exert yourself a little? The answer is lack of exercise.
I watched a video the other day about geriatrics (old people), who were more than 100 years, doing a 100-meter-dash. All of them finished the race in less than 20 seconds. The person who came first,who did it in 15.4 seconds was 109 years. Can you imagine that. Do you know that most of us above 50 cannot even attempt that feat, by doing a 100 meters in 30 seconds, without panting.
What fuel, carbohydrates or fat is more important while running a marathon. Research in exercise physiology tried to provide answers to these and similar questions. Most of us do not do any form of exercise daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. You can imagine a human being stating with pride, that he has not engaged in any form of exercise in 10 years. We know that mild exercise –
could lower the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease.
Reduce the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure.
Help maintain weight and healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Help lower blood pressure in those who already had high blood pressure and promote psychological well-being.
Multiple researches have shown that people who maintain appropriate body fitness, using judicious regimens of exercise and weight control have the additional benefits of prolonged life. Especially between the ages of 50 and 70. Your guess is as good as mine, on what suggestions I gave to our retired civil servant who had not exercised in 10 years.
Studies have also shown mortality to be three times less in the most fit people, than in the least fit people. Why does body fitness prolong life? The following reasons are adduced as some of the most important. Body fitness and weight control greatly reduce cardiovascular disease. This results in 1) maintenance of moderately lower blood pressure and 2) reduced blood cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), along with increased High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is excretable by the body.
These changes, all work together to reduce the number of heart attacks, brain strokes and kidney disease. The athletically fit person has more bodily reserves to call on when he or she does become sick. Always be medically guided.
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