You have learned that the j20 Workout asks you to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes each day.  And you have also been prompted to engage in activities that you truly enjoy so that exercising is fun rather than a labor.  Now, I am going to explain very generally the main components to a good beginning exercise program.

The word exercise comes from the root word exert meaning to exert one’s power or influence.  The act of exerting your physical body requires movement.  There are many ways to move your body and gain health and fitness benefits.

There are three basic ways to think about movement of the body:

  •  flexibility
  •  aerobic movement
  •  anaerobic movement

We will spend the next few blog entries learning more about each of these and how your health and fitness levels benefit from each.  Today, let’s start with a brief overview of each.

Flexibility exercises help increase range of motion of a joint.  This type of movement is based in stretching and the outcome is intended to improve the functional movement of the muscles and connective tissue in order to enhance optimal performance.

Aerobic exercises, by definition, are rhythmic in nature and are sustained, continuous movements.  The term aerobic means with oxygen.  During aerobic movement the body can produce energy at the same rate energy is being used.  Therefore, aerobic activities can be done over an extended amount of time.  Aerobic activities strengthen the cardiovascular systems in the body.  The systems being impacted are the heart, lungs and vascular system. There are many ways to move the body that can be classified as aerobic.  Some examples of aerobic activities include cycling, walking, running, jumping rope and swimming.

Anaerobic (“without oxygen”) is another type of exercise for the body.  When it comes to activities such as weight lifting, sprinting and tennis, oxygen is in high demand and short supply, which is why exercises such as these can feel so challenging.  According to the American Sports Medicine Institute, anaerobic training is usually less than two minutes in duration and as a result oxygen does not become a factor in performance.  Often time though anaerobic exercise includes activities that last less than thirty seconds.

I hope this has been a good overview of the most basic aspects of exercise.  Little by little you are going to become an expert who looks and feels better than ever – just stay on the path with me.

Published by Sadie