Article #3: Jogging And Other Vigorous Exercise
Warm Up And Warm Down
Enlivening outdoor air, trees and other natural scenery, the exhilarating feeling of aliveness: These are some of the reasons why so many folks jog as part of their exercise program. Many people like to run in the morning when they arise; others prefer the afternoon after work, before their evening meal. Dedicated joggers run morning and evening.
Whenever you run, it is probably after a period of relative inactivity. So, unless you have been physically active before you jog, it is an excellent idea to warm up before jogging. It takes only a few minutes and the results are well worth the time.
We run because we enjoy it and we know it’s good for our health. Let’s enjoy ourselves now while we learn why it’s important to warm up before jogging: Our circulatory system has to adjust to increased physical activity. Too sudden demands on the heart and the arteries are a strain on them. When we’re relatively inactive, our heart beats slowly and arterial tension is low. Sudden violent exercise can easily cause unpleasant symptoms such as a painful throbbing in the side and front of the neck.
To do their work well the muscles must contain blood commensurate with the work they must do. The more work they do, the more oxygen they need and, as you now, the (red) hemoglobin in the blood supplies oxygen o all the body cells. When at rest, most of our blood is in our body cavities (head, chest, stomach, pelvis). Our venous and lymphatic circulations are relaxed.
When we exercise vigorously, as when we jog, most of our blood will flow through the muscles at a rapid rate and at high pressure. This increase in pressure and rate of flow begins at the start of vigorous exercise. The arteries of the body cavities, especially in the stomach, constrict, while the arterioles in the muscles and the vascular area of the skin dilate. Dr. Shelton says, “Such a vast circulatory adjustment cannot be made in a satisfactory way or sufficient to correspond to the amount of work demanded from the muscles if rapid or vigorous work is thrown upon the muscles suddenly.” He also says that respiratory and eliminatory adjustments are best made by increasing the intensity and quantity of muscular exertion gradually.
Shelton says, “Nor is it desirable or even always safe to suddenly cease vigorous activity while in a state of high organic activity—the heart and lungs working hard, the glands working at high speed, the skin flushed and perspiring. The race horse trainer acts wisely when he takes his horse, after the race, and walks him around a while, thus giving him exercise of progressively diminishing intensity until circulation and respiration have returned to nearly normal. Sudden cessation of vigorous activity throws as much strain upon circulatory adjustment as a sudden beginning of heavy work. It is best to decrease the quantity and intensity of muscular work gradually. Passive deep breathing may also be used to reduce organic activity.”
To help you get warmed up or warmed down for exercise, here are a few exercises I saw in our local newspaper. Try them!
- With, your feet a few inches apart, bend down and touch (or reach for) your toes. Then stand up straight, raising your hands high above your head … then repeat this about a half dozen times.
- Stand with your hands on your hips and your feet planted firmly. Twist the top half of your body until one shoulder points all the way forward … then back to where it belongs … then the other shoulder … then back. Stop after about 10 swings.
- Lie on the floor and stretch your arms and legs out until you look like and “X”. Raise your legs, still spread out, all the way up and back until your toes touch your fingers. Do this about four times.
Lesson 97 – Devising A Lifestyle That Includes Vigorous Activity
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Informal Exercise
- 3. Formal Exercise
- 4. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Exercise: A Hygienic Perspective By Ralph C. Cinque, D.C.
- Article #2: Exercise: What Most Of Us Forget
- Article #3: Jogging And Other Vigorous Exercise
- Article #4: Hiking Is More Than Just Exercise By Marti Wheeler
- Article #5: Developing Your Arms