Right way to ensure better health of the jointsNot a day passes when weight and curve conscious ladies of the house forego a discussion on their aerobic dance routine. They rave about their exercise classes and seem to be basking in a feel-good factor. But the truth of the matter howsoever bitter it may sound is that majority of them hardly appear anything better than couch potatoes. Thanks to their faulty diet plans and funny exercise routines.It is in fact surprising that many of these women even complain of joint problems quite often. It is ironical that they fail to identify the less-than-perfect workouts as the real culprit behind their painful joints.
Bare truthsPhysical trainers who sail along with science, slam the gloss and swear by sound training principles, irrespective of however de-glamorous they appear. Their clients are instructed to stay away from risky exercises like aerobic dances. Such routines are no doubt very effective in burning fat. But there are better choices to reduce body fat and strengthen the heart and the lungs, without stressing the joints.Aerobics are a set of exercises that utilise maximum amount of oxygen. They step-up calorific demand and facilitate the break-down of stored fat cells. Researchers term such exercises as `cardiovascular training' because they strengthen the heart and improve overall health. Cardio works the largest muscle group in the human body, the thighs, and increases calorific expenditure. When a person extends cardio sessions beyond 20 minutes, the body realises that the energy coming from blood sugar and muscle glycogen (a by-product of water and carbohydrates stored in the muscle cells) is insufficient to offset the demands of the workout. Hence, it is forced to stop using the glycogen and breakdown fat cells. Cardio sessions trigger fat loss only if a person trains non-stop for 25 to 30 minutes.
Range of motionEvery muscle group in the body has a specific function. For example, the function of the biceps is to twist the wrist and draw the forearm towards the shoulders. It is always a must to train every muscle through its full range of motion. As regards aerobic dance routines, they do not work on the thigh muscles through the full range of motion. This puts a lot of stress on the knees and the ankles. If a trainee suffers from joint pain, the partial range of motion is sure to aggravate the condition. A safe aerobic routine may be put together with brisk walking, cycling (stationary bike or the regular bike), rowing, swimming or a combination of more than one of these.International bodybuilders, who desire to achieve ultra-low `bodyfat' levels, do not vote for jogging, skipping, running or aerobic dances either. They know for sure that such exercises would do more damage to a heavier person than a lighter one.Choosing the right physical trainer is undoubtedly the key to good health and cosmetic beauty.C. LAKSHMI KUMAR