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What Should You Know about Exercise?

Exercise is favorable to our mental and physical health, but only when it is done properly. Here is some general knowledge that helps you benefit most from exercise:

Before exercise

1. Do not exercise on a completely empty stomach

Many people, especially elderly people, have the habit of exercising right after getting up early in the morning, without having breakfast. It's appreciated that they care about their health. Certainly, you don't want to miss the fresh air or the bright sunshine. But neither do you want to be troubled by hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is highly likely to occur in such a situation because after eight hours of sleep there hasn't been any sugar intake to provide energy for your exercise. So make sure to have a little food or fruit before exercising in the morning.  

2. Do not exercise after a full meal

We just talked about why you should eat a little early in the morning. While in any occasion, eating or drinking too much before exercise does no good to our bodies. Because when you exercise, your gastric acid secretion decreases, which may result in indigestion or other stomach distress. It is recommended to do exercise 1-2 hours after the meal.  

3. Get enough rest

Always remember to work out in the good mental and physical condition. Exercise costs you a lot of energy. Whenever you feel fatigued or sick, give up your workout plans and take a good rest.

4. Warming up

Warming up is a significant step that can benefit your exercise to a large extent. Firstly, it tightens your muscles, stretches your ligaments, and lubricates your joints, making your body more flexible and less likely to get hurt during exercise, especially on cold days. Secondly, it helps better your mental state. Usually the more excited and prepared we feel, the better performance we can reach in exercise, and the more we can benefit from it.  

 

During exercise

1. Do not breathe with your mouth.

During exercise, there is a surge in the oxygen consumption of our bodies. To meet that need, some people would breathe with their mouths. However, without the filtering, heating, and humidifying of your nasal cavity, cold, dry, and stale air directly enters the airway, damaging its mucosa, and leading to capillary bursts or even inflammation in worse cases. So whether you are exercising or not, breathe with your nose to protect your trachea and lung.

2. Mind the air quality

The other way to protect your respiratory system is to avoid exercise when the air quality is poor. Therefore, you might not want to exercise on foggy or smoggy days, or when there are too many cars running on the street.

3. Keep warm

Nobody wants to catch a cold in exercise. Although exercise raises your body temperature, don't take off your cloth as soon as you start or until you get all sweaty. You can gradually take them off as your temperature rises.

 

After exercise

1. Do not sit down right away

After having a good workout, the first thing you want to do must be taking some rest. But squatting down right after exercise is not conducive to the blood circulation of lower limbs, and easily aggravates fatigue of the body. Taking a walk may be your best choice.

2. Drink water correctly

Exercise not only consumes energy, but also water. As for replenishing water, there are several things we need to pay attention to. The first is the quality of drinking water. Avoid drinking beverages like soda. Boiled water can never go wrong. Light-salted water or energy drinks are also good choices. Secondly, it is not recommended to drink cold water. Because the body temperature can rise to about 39 ℃ after exercise. If you drink very cold water, it will strongly irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing spasms of gastrointestinal smooth muscle and sudden contraction of blood vessels, resulting in gastrointestinal dysfunction and indigestion. The third is the amount. Despite the huge water demand, you should not drink too much in one go. Separate it into no more than 200ml at one time, with intervals of at least 15 minutes.

 

Recovery after exercise

1. Get enough sleep

Just as you need a good rest before exercise, sleeping is still the key to eliminating fatigue and restoring strength after exercise. 8-9 hours of sleep is required to keep the body completely relaxed.

2. Cooling down exercise

The importance of cooling down exercise is no second to warm up. Sudden stops after exercise will obstruct oxygen supplement and venous blood return, reducing blood pressure and causing untoward reactions. Therefore, you should slowly walk around and do some static-stretch to cool down your body.

3. Massage

All professional athletes are provided with a rehabilitation team to give them a massage. It's a very efficient way to soothe your muscular aches and pains, and speed up your blood circulation. Try to do some simple massage on your own, starting with alternately using pressing, folding, and other techniques on your muscles. It can be carried out after exercise or before bedtime.

4. Eat well

To replenish the energy consumed in exercise, an adequate supply of sugar and vitamins need to be ensured. Choose foods rich in nutrition and easy to digest, and eat more fresh vegetables and fruits.

5. Oxygen therapy

Oxygen is a significant participant in the energy conversion system during exercise. The oxygen demand varies with different exercises. Aerobic exercises like jogging and cycling are usually more oxygen-consuming. Some people suffer a series of discomfort after these exercises due to a lack of oxygen intake. In that case, breathing oxygen can quickly replenish the accumulation of lactic acid in muscles caused by physical energy consumption, reducing soreness and sickness. Therefore, oxygen therapy is a good choice to quickly recover after exercise.

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