Health Benefits from different exercises

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by BBear, Feb 21, 2006.

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  1. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    Right, this isn't a case of "what exercise is best" but of what exercise does what?

    I am a fairly active guy, I go for fairly long wood/road runs, cycle frequently and use free weights. I try to go swimming once a week but it's tricky without drinking 12 litres of toddler pee. But it got me thinking, what good does each type of exercise do? Gov' guidelines suggest 3 sessions of fizz for 20mins or more duration every week, I do more than this, but lacking any professional (and not wanting to pay ridiculous amounts of money for a proper gym membership) guidance I'm unsure where to turn to.

    I'm aware that any aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) is good for the heart and general health - but why?

    Are there any benefits of combining running with cycling? As in day 1: 8 mile run, day 2: 18 k on the bike, day 3: 8 mile run... etc

    Is it better to go on a few heavy runs per week, or shorter runs everyday? I dont have a 9-5 job, I'm an odd job man - but it can be tricky to find a couple of hours to pound the streets.

    I've spoken to my doctor, the human muscle down the gym and a rugby coach but I can't seem to get a definitive answer to any of the above that I fully understood. Any replies would be gratefully recieved! :p
  2. Dear BBear,

    I can very well understand your confusion and I must say I admire your courage for admitting it, since most folks just nod their heads (un)knowingly and go on their way none the wiser.
    I'm a bit snowed under at the moment, but as soon as I can shovel myself free, I'll PM you with a load of stuff that (hopefully) will give you a more rounded picture.

    In the meantime, keep on with what you're doing!

  3. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    Thanks buddy! Will look forward to it
  4. Really appreciate a copy as well if you have one spare Bugsy7. I can't get any sensible answers from my gym either.
  5. Me too please! I've just started fizzing again - which is wierd considering I hated it when I was in!
  6. Not taking the urine here boys, but there's an excellent book called 'Fitness for Dummies', it's one of the range of 'XXX for Dummies' books and they tend be so well-written that they are suitable for novices/beginners in that subject but also appeal to the experts.

    Various chapters explaining all you need to know about training, different activities, etc, uses a lot of Spam terminology but v useful all the same
  7. In answer to your question about aerobic fitness, a series of physiology experiments carried out over the last 50 years has shown that in order to increase your aerobic fitness level, you should do at least 3 sets of aerobic exercise* of at least 20 mins length every week. This was discovered to be the level at which the cardiovascular system begins to benefit from exercise by increasing lung capacity (allowing extra o2 to enter the blood supply and feed muscles), heart stroke volume (More oxygen rich blood ejected from the heart per stroke) and stroke strength (A specific volume of blood being ejected from the heart in a shorter period.. As these increase, your performance and enducrance also increase.

    * Aerobic exercise is where your heart rate during the exercise is in the range of 60-85% of your maximum heart. It must be held at that level for 20mins+ for it to offer benefit.

    To get your maximum heart rate subtract your age in years from 220. This allows you to calculate the 60-85% range which you should aim to train in for maximum benefit

  8. Research was probably conducted using civpop as a whole, therefore the advice of doing 3x 20min PT per week applies to the general population of the UK only (including kids, teenagers, pregnant ladies, middle aged folk and the elderly).

    Military fitness is a unique requirement and needs much greater effort and activities to achieve the level required.

    My old mum does a couple of half hour sessions of aerobics per week but she's arrse at tabbing and paddling and a downright embarrassment on the log/stretcher :lol:
  9. All very true ghost rider, but he was asking about why aeorbic exercise is good for you.

    Obviously exercise plans should be reflect the context of the sport/activity you want to perform.

    Hence why armed forces tend to concentrate on cardiovascular endurance in the form of tabbing and assault courses etc.