While physical exercise is a great way to keep fit, if you overdo a good thing, it backfires. Here are a few pros and cons of training every day to keep in mind.
Training Every Day Boosts Your Mood
Physical activity is known to stimulate the production of endorphins or the ‘happy hormones’ and hence, beat stress, improve your mood, fight memory loss, enhance concentration, and stimulate creativity and overall brain function. Scientific research shows that aerobic exercise physically reshapes our brains for peak performance.
In his book SPARK,Dr. John Ratey, MD offers fascinating insights about the mind-body connection, highlighting that physical training is the best way to fight depression, ADD, addictions of any kind, as well as menopause and even Alzheimer’s. Abounding in case studies like the fitness program followed by a district school in Naperville, Illinois, which earned 19,000 kids the highest scores in the world of science test, Dr. Ratey’s book is the first evidence-based work ever to embark on a comprehensive approach to the connection between mind and body, with a major focus on the impact of exercise on the brain. Still allowing yourself to laze about in bed in the morning instead of going for a 30-minute run around the block? Dr. Ratey gives very solid arguments in his book about why this is wrong.
‘The sedentary character of modern life is a disruption of our nature, and it poses one of the biggest threats to our continued survival. Evidence of this is everywhere: 65 percent of our nation’s adults are overweight or obese, and 10 percent of the population has type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition’, heexplains.
Additionally, exercise does not only stimulate your body’s ability to torch calories and lose the dreaded extra pounds, but it also enables you to connect with your inner self.
Who says that exercise drains your energy? It does exactly the opposite.Physical activity has been proven to boost energy levels throughout the day. According to a study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Georgia, sedentary but healthy adults who did aerobic exercise no longer than 20 minutes three days a week for six weeks in a row, reported feeling more energized and less fatigued. Still reaching for the cup of coffee? Lace up your trainers and hit the pavement, you’ll be amazed how much more energetic you feel.
Stimulates Metabolism and Supports Weight Loss
The first thing that comes to mind, which training is being associated with is weight loss. This is not at all wrong, as physical training is one of the best ways to burn fat and stimulate metabolism. Did you know that your body actually continues to burn calories for about 40 minutes even after you have stopped training?
Furthermore, regular training stimulates metabolism by improving bowel movement, kick-starting digestion, and supporting your body’s natural ability to cleanse.
Regular Training Increases Your Anabolic Capacity
Feeling fatigued throughout the day? Afraid of feeling too exhausted to even lift one arm? Well, it’s time you splashed some water on your face and start something new for a change – WORKOUT! Although it may seem impossible, you will see that once you get started, your body will respond quickly and you’ll miraculously ‘find’ enough energy to go through all your regular reps. Allow yourself five minutes, warm up properly and after that, if you feel you can’t continue, you can go home (if you’re at the gym) or collapse on the couch. But, most likely, this will not be the case, as once you get your heart pumping you will feel energized enough to finish your workout. The result? At the end, you will notice that you’re more energetic than you were when you started your day.
Daily Training Improves Your Memory
Having frequent lapse of memory? A little bit of exercise is what you need, experts suggest. Research indicates that as little as 20 minutes of moderate intensity training, performed three to four times weekly can improve memory function across all age groups. So, how about taking a walk, if you feel you’re starting to forget things?
Exercise Lifts Up Your Spirit
Feeling a bit moody? Perhaps you should hit the pavement or the treadmill a little bit more. Exercise has been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, which helps boost serotonin production. Serotonin is the so-called ‘happy hormone’, which makes you feel better and eases your mood swings. Some of you may have heard about the ‘runner’s high’. That feeling is caused by the production of serotonin in the brain, which is increased through regular physical training. Moderate exercise also helps ease PMS symptoms and the associated mood swings.
It Makes You Look Younger
If there ever was a fountain of youth, that’s exercise. The increased oxygen intake and improved blood flow that exercise contributes to having been proved to support skin elasticity and help your skin look younger. Better blood oxygenation boosts cell repair, which in turn, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But, the pros of training every day go a longer way than that. Exercise has been shown to reverse the damaging action of free radicals, which contribute to skin aging.
Furthermore, exercising helps you sleep better and surpass the difficulties of everyday life more easily, as well as engage in stronger and healthier relationships.
Despite the benefits it can bring, training every day has a few drawbacks as well. Here are a few reasons why daily physical training may be harmful.
Training Every Day Has an Increased Risk of Injury
If you’ve hardly exercised before, you may not know how to perform certain exercises correctly, making you more prone to injury. If you want to start a training program, it’s best to consult your physician to rule out any potential health risks and then speak to a personal trainer who can tailor a program specifically for you.
Exercise May Increase Appetite
Despite its weight-loss attributes, many people use exercise as an excuse to indulge in calorie-packed foods. When you embark on an exercise program, make sure to avoid what is called the ‘halo effect,’ which is nothing else than wasting all your sweating efforts at the gym or in the park jogging by cramming unhealthy foods. If you don’t stick to a clear exercise-meal protocol, you might end up gaining weight rather than losing. Remember, you’re doing this to improve your condition, not so you can eat more.
It May Affect Your Relationships
Changing your lifestyle like choosing to follow a strict exercising protocol may impact your life. The people around you, be they friends or family, may not so readily embrace the idea or even follow you straight away. One of the cons of taking up a healthy habit like exercise is that it may impact your relationships. To some, your new hobby may seem vain or self-centered. Others may feel neglected, as you’ll end up spending more time at the gym than with them, or they may even envy you for starting to look and feel better. To avoid this pitfall, invite your friends and/or family to support you in your endeavors. You can have fun getting fit and encourage them to look after their well-being too. Take this as an opportunity to connect with your loved ones, while creating a new healthy penchant.
Don’t Overdo It
Exercise can fit any schedule regardless of how busy it is. If there’s a will, there’s a way. However, especially in the beginning, for those of you who want to see results yesterday, remember that working out twice a day can backfire. Not only does it increase the risk of injuries, but it can also create a disruption in your daily routine. You need to weigh carefully the pros and cons that come with the new lifestyle routine. When evaluating, be sure to consider for how long can you commit to following such a routine without damaging your professional as well as personal life. While training twice a day may help you achieve your goals faster, it’s not recommended to follow this routine for a long time.
Another pitfall to avoid is sticking to only one type of exercise, such as cardio or weightlifting. Ideally, you should cross-train for better results and avoid the risk of injuries andburnout.
Having revealed all the pros and cons of training every day, let us make the most of the exercise and experience the connection between body and mind withVinyasa yoga.
As its Sanskrit name suggests (“vinyasa” means “uniting breath with movement”), Vinyasa yoga teaches students to coordinate their breath with movement so as to flow smoothly from pose to pose.
The term “vinyasa” is also used to describe a specific sequence of poses like Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog, commonly used in Vinyasa classes.
Vinyasa yoga works both on your physiological and mental levels, and has a soothing effect on your mind, by requiring you to focus on your breathing and posture. Among its physiological benefits, it’s also notable for the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of stroke and type-2 diabetes. Additionally, Vinyasa yoga has been proven to support natural body detoxification, while regulating metabolism, helping you sleep better and supporting weight loss. Check out the following Vinyasa yoga poses and see how you can combine them in a workout routine you won’t want to change for anything!
Stand tall, then slowly lower your hips until you are in a squat position. Hold your knees together and tighten your abs. Raise your arms on each side of your head, then slowly lift up on your toes as high as you can, while keeping your balance.
Lower two more inches in your squat. Maintain the pose for five breaths. To maximize your workout, lower into a deep squat position until your bottom almost touches your heels, then rise again until your bottom is parallel to your heels, while still keeping your heels up.
Start on all fours. Lift your right leg up directly behind you until it forms a straight line with your hip. Raise your left arm so as to form a straight line with your shoulder, balancing your right hand and left knee.
Move your lifted leg ninety degrees outward, to the right, and your lifted arm ninety degrees outward, to the left. Hold the pose for three breaths, then return to spinal balance.
Stand firmly on your left leg, bend forward and lift your right leg behind you, holding your arms by your side resembling the shape of an airplane.
Bend your left knee and lower as far down as you feel comfortable into a single-leg squat while keeping your right leg extended backward. Do five slow squats, coordinating your breathing with your movement (i.e.: inhale when going up, exhale when lowering down).
Return to initial posture and repeat on the opposite side.
Lie down on your left side. Place your left hand on the ground and lift your upper body from the ground, while pushing your hips upward until the only parts of your body touching the ground are the edges of your feet and your hand.
Raise your right arm and right knee, bend and then bring them closer together until your elbow touches your knee. Stay in the pose for five slow breaths.
Return to initial position and repeat on the opposite side.
From a standing position, bend to your right side reaching down with your right hand, spreading your fingers, while resting your left hand on your left hip. Breathe in deeply, bend your right knee and move your right foot forward smoothly 6 to 12 inches on the floor. At the same time, your right hand should be touching the floor, at least 12 inches away from your little toe.
Exhale, while pressing your right hand and heel firmly into the floor. Straighten your left leg, simultaneously floating your left foot up. Rotate your torso to the left, moving your left hip slightly forward. While bearing your whole body weight on your standing leg, press your lower hand lightly into the floor to maintain balance. Lift the inner ankle of the standing foot firmly up. Strongly press the sacrum and scapulas against your back torso, lengthening the coccyx toward the raised heel.
Maintain the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
From a standing position, lean to your right and reach down with your hand. As your hand touches the floor, float your left leg upward, holding it in line with your left hip.
Lift your left arm and reach back for your left foot with your hand. Grab your foot or your shin, then arch backward, pressing your foot firmly into your hand. Hold the pose for three to five breaths, then return to half-moon pose.
Stand up straight and move your right leg forward, widely apart from your left leg. Bend your right knee, leaning forward in a deep squat. Lower your left knee and lift your arms to your ears. Arch your back gently and keep your head aligned with your arms.
Lift your left leg slowly, strengthening it behind you. Balance on your right foot and the top of your left foot. Hold the pose for three to five breaths.
Starting in a chair squat stance, join your hands together as if in a prayer. Rotate your torso to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Keep your hands in line with your heart and shift your weight to your right leg.
Keep your upper body still and stretch your left leg backward until you are in a low lunge position with a prayer twist. Stay in the pose for five breaths. If you wish to add more intensity to your yoga training, flow between the chair and lunge poses.
Standing up straight, bend your right knee and lift your right leg to your waist. Cross your right leg over your left thigh, squat down and wrap your right foot toes around the left calf.
Stretch your arms to the sides.
Cross the left arm over the right arm, which is in front of you, bending both your elbows. Wrap your forearms together until your hands' touch. From this position, slightly lift your elbows up contracting your abs, then crunch forward.
Maintain the pose for five breaths.
Now review all the pros and cons of training every day and embark on a program that suits your health needs and can help you achieve your fitness goals without any risk of injury. Always consult your doctor and a personal trainer before hitting the trail!
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