Types of Exercise
Flexibility Exercises: This type of exercise stretches the muscles
and increases joint mobility, therefore minimizes the risk of muscle strains in every day life. Examples of this type of exercise
are the stretches used in the "warm up" and "cool down."
Aerobic/ Endurance Exercise: This type of exercise increases the heart rate
notably, due to the increased demand of oxygen by the body's cells. The cells need more oxygen to convert sugars (the bodies main source of energy) in the process of aerobic respiration to energy that can
be used more easily in other reactions.
If the cells do not have enough oxygen anaerobic respiration
takes place, this produces lactic acid, which causes the pain felt during intense exercise. Aerobic exercise
will increase your overall fitness, stamina and the strength of your heart.
Examples of aerobic exercise are running, swimming and aerobics.
Weight-bearing Exercise: This is exercise that is done against
gravity, and it causes an increase in bone mass, and improves overall agility and balance. It is recommended that adolescent
and pre-menopausal women integrate weight-bearing exercise into their regular practice, to increase
their bone mass.
of weight bearing exercise are climbing stairs, jogging and dancing.
Are there any risks to exercise?
The most common
complaint is pain or swelling in the joints after working out. Pain during or after a workout is a clear sign that exercise
is being done the wrong way or is being done too often.
Sports safety guidelines should
be followed to minimize pain and swelling. Girls who exercise too much can stop getting their periods. Any of these symptoms
should be reported to the health care provider right away.
What are overuse injuries?
During an adolescent growth spurt, the bones grow so quickly that a height increase of 3/4" in a
month isn't uncommon. At the same time, the muscles and tendons spanning these rapidly growing bones don't lengthen as quickly
and they get much tighter.
loss of flexibility increases the risk of overuse injuries, especially in the
A teen is prone to overuse injuries in the lower back because the
spine grows faster than its muscles and tendons. The resulting tightness may even alter a child's posture and such a change
is likely to cause injury.
Regular exercise and
physical fitness can prevent:
- Coronary Heart Disease: A
build up of cholesterol deposits in blood vessels, can lead to complete blocking of the blood vessel. In turn this will cause
surrounding tissue dependent on the blocked vessel for oxygen to die, i.e. a heart attack or stroke.
- Diabetes: The blood
sugar level is too high as a result of the hormone insulin being ineffective. This can lead to a coma or even death.
- Osteoporosis: A persons' bones losing strength as they become too porous and therefore fracture more easily.
- Sleep Disorders: Difficulty
in getting to sleep, having too little or too much sleep.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: Due
to the changes in hormone levels many women experience PMS, between ovulation and menstruation.
Symptoms can include:
- Fatigue: Excessive/unusual
- Slow the aging effect
- Minimize the effects of other debilitating diseases, such as Arthritis
- it can make you feel and look good
Teen Girls Are Not Exercising
A new study finds the amount of regular exercise girls
get in their spare time drops dramatically between elementary school and late adolescence.
By Adam Marcus
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthScoutNews) By the time they
finish high school, many American girls have lost whatever semblance of being physically active they had when they were younger.
A new study finds that the amount of regular exercise girls
get in their spare time drops by more than 80% between elementary school & late adolescence. Black teens reported a 100%
falloff in regular physical activity each week. Their white peers fared a little better, but even their exercise scores dropped
by nearly 2/3 over the 10-year period.
The findings help explain why obesity, Type II diabetes &
inactivity are higher among black women than among white women, which raises their risk of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer,
osteoporosis & other health problems tied to exercise. Some 15% of American youth are overweight, triple the number since
Dr. Sue Kimm of the University of Pittsburgh
led the study, which appears in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine.
Kimm & her colleagues followed 1,213 black girls &
1,166 white girls from the age of 9 & 10 to 18 & 19. The girls were queried regularly about their exercise habits
during out-of-school hours, as well as about other health habits & their family's social & economic status.
At the start of the study period, the two groups reported
roughly the same amount of weekly exercise, as estimated in units called metabolic equivalents, or METs, in the form of swimming,
biking, dance, gymnastics, & other sports. Black girls had 27.3 & white girls had 30.8 METs, respectively.
But 10 years later, black girls reported getting 0 METs in
their free time each week, on average, a decline of 100% from the earlier figure. Whites got 11 MET-times a week, 64% fewer
The number of girls in each group who reported getting no
regular leisure exercise by age 16 or 17 was 56% for blacks & 31% for whites. For the entire study, the average activity
score plunged 83%.
Black girls had higher average body mass, a marker of overweight
& obesity, than the white girls in all age brackets. High body mass index (BMI) was associated with steeper declines in
physical activity for both groups.
The rate of smoking was more than 4 times greater among white
girls, 27% vs. 5.7%, & smoking predicted who exercised less.
Black girls were 3 times as likely to get pregnant by the
eighth year of the study -- 22.3% vs. 7.5%. Pregnancy was cited as a reason for lack of exercise for blacks, but not for whites.
White girls whose parents were poorly educated had greater
drops in exercise between childhood & adolescence. But that effect held only for black girls in their teens. Other work
has found a similar link between years of education & amount of physical activity among women in this country.
Richard Troiano, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer
Institute & author of an editorial accompanying the journal article, said the study underscores how exercise-unfriendly
American culture has become.
People take elevators rather than climb stairs, they drive
to work & school instead of walk. Neighborhood playgrounds are no longer seen as safe havens for local kids, meaning those
who want to participate in sports have to be taken to gyms, fields, or parks -- trips that require sacrifices of time &
often money from parents.
"We need to re-emphasize the need for physical activity,"
Troiano said. "We have to put it back in because we've essentially taken it out."
Bernard Gutin, an exercise expert at the Medical College
of Georgia in Augusta, called the latest findings "pretty scary. The implication is that after school [teen girls] just don't
do a blessed thing."
Gutin & his colleagues have studied fitness interventions
in both boys & girls, with encouraging results. A half-hour or more daily of moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help them
shed pounds & take off fat even without changing their diet, he said. His group is now looking at the impact of regular
80-minute workouts on body & abdominal fat.
Sumru Ekrut, a Wellesley College researcher who studies the
exercise habits of girls, said the trends in the latest analysis aren't surprising, though the magnitude of the reduction
in physical activity is larger than she has found.
"With increasing age, fewer kids are physically active; this
is true for both boys & girls," Ekrut said.
The phenomenon of the athletic girl is relatively recent.
So researchers know little about the negative effects of stopping exercise in this group, Ekrut said.
"No one has looked at what happens to girls who stop being
physically active, whether their developmental trajectory changes. It might, but one could also argue that the protective
While participation in sports is generally perceived as a
good thing for girls, Ekrut said it's not always an unmitigated plus. Team sports can expose younger girls to the more adult,
& potentially dangerous, behaviors of older students, like drinking alcohol. These in turn can make them vulnerable to
risky sexual practices & other hazardous activities.
How should an
exercise program be started?
It's wise to talk w/a healthcare provider first, especially if there are health
problems that might affect the types of exercise chosen.
Then consult w/someone who understands the mechanics of exercise, like a coach or a fitness expert at a gym.
What kind of exercise is best?
Different types of exercise build up different muscle groups. For instance,
rowing, cross-country skiing, push-ups & pull-ups are good for building arm muscles.
For strong legs, running, biking, inline skating & ice-skating
work well. And for the stomach muscles, rowing & crunches are great.
What are the advantages of organized sport?
Many people believe there's a connection between taking part in sports & personal growth & development. Leadership, responsibility, initiative & cooperation are all positive qualities usually ascribed to the results of regular exercise.
Adolescents who exercise score higher in positive personality traits & social acceptance than those who don't exercise.
positive character traits can include: greater future orientation, greater impulse control, greater perseverance, greater
resistance to peer pressure & more respect for parental & societal values. These traits are likely to contribute to higher academic achievement.
....in a recent study, men who were labeled non-athletic
as a teenager recall feeling inferior & inadequate as an adolescent.
A survey was distributed to 2,400 girls & 600 boys between the ages of 9 & 15 by the American Association
of University Women in 1991 & an even bigger survey was given this year by the Commonwealth Fund to 3,586 girls &
3,162 boys in the grades 5 thru 12.
Both documented that more frequently than not, girls entering adolescence experience a self confidence crisis. This crisis leaves girls vulnerable to bad health behaviors, which many times they don't have the strength to fight.
Dr. Emily Hancock, a psychologist in Berkeley, CA found that
girls have a peak of confidence at the age of 9 but soon after that it declines. She believes this to be contributed by the
physical changes a girl goes thru during puberty.
After 9 a girl's body changes shape & she may gain some weight. She doesn't share the equality of body with her
male peers anymore. Along with the lowering
of confidence, Dr. Hancock found that girls also lose their "strength, independence, spirit & lucidity" & become extremely focused on their appearance.
A great deal of this focus comes from the media & the idea that the perfect female body is skinny with a very small waist line. Since most girls don't look this way they begin to feel inadequate
& their self confidence declines.
The effects of this low self esteem comes in many forms such as:
The Commonwealth Fund survey found that only
39% of girls, at high school age, were very self confident & that the older girls have less self-esteem than the younger girls.
This was the opposite in boys, younger boys have less self-esteem than older boys. 50% of
boys at high school age have high self confidence.
29% of girls admitted to having suicidal
thoughts while 27% of them said
they were sad if not all the time then often.
1/3 of older girls reported that they felt like crying either many days or every day.
Most of the girls said they had never gone to anyone about their feelings, a psychologist or parent, but rather went to:
- cigarettes: 14% of the girls said
they smoked a few cigarettes to a pack a week
- alcohol: 15% of teenage girls admitted to drinking weekly or monthly
for help. ......In all 39% of girls
in the grades 5 to 12 reported smoking,
drinking, or using drugs in the last month.
Sex is also a way of escaping for many girls. 2/3 of high school seniors have had sex & each year almost one million teenage pregnancies
are reported, 85% of them not planned.
Another shocking statistic was that 18% of the girls contributing to the Commonwealth survey said they had
experienced some form of abuse, sexual or
These girls are twice as likely to
smoke, drink, or do drugs, as well as 3 times as likely to have an eating disorder.
Eating disorders are also a common health risk in teenage girls. In the Commonwealth Fund survey 1 girl in 5 in the Freshmen class said she binged
& purged & twice that many reported bulimia in the Senior class.
The society's idea of the perfect female being tall, thin & muscular, says Dr. Brumberg , is telling girls
that the body is perfectible & is therefore driving girls to doing what ever it takes to attain the "perfect" body.
info from the article: Teens
Experience Crisis in Confidence
personality traits contribute to personal happiness as well:
- Self-esteem: Happy People Like Themselves
- Optimism: Happy People Are Hope-Filled
- Extroversion: Happy People Are Outgoing
- Personal Control: Happy People Believe
They Choose Their Destinies
are mentioned in the article: The Secrets of Happiness
How can a person
get the most out of exercise?
Exercise helps the body the most when a person:
- eats healthy foods, following the
Food Guide Pyramid
- gets enough protein in the diet
- gets enough sleep so the body has
time to rest & recover between workouts
- avoids anabolic steroids, which
are powerful chemicals that can cause liver problems & increase the risk for high blood pressure, heart attack & stroke
Can exercise stunt growth?
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, one of the best things teenagers
can do for their health is to decide on an exercise routine and then stick with it. The body will benefit, not just in the
teen years, but in adult life as well.
Copyright © 2001 HealthAnswers, Inc. Last Updated: 07/27/01
exercise and adolescents
Here are 10 questions and answers that many teens ask about exercise:
By Dr. Karen Wolfe, MBBS, MA
exercise can help eliminate symptoms of mental illnesses...
- lift your spirits,
after the initial moan & groan from forcing your body to move!!!
- depression & anxiety can be wiped away after a good work out
- keep your mood
in a positive uplifting trend instead of feeling lethargic, cranky & moody...
diet after learning about how calories are burned & the food groups - properly eaten - &then adding a regular exercise
routine can be of great help in trying to recover from the grips of depression & anxiety disorders....
when a constant change of diet adds exercise to the picture... you can sleep better as well... so there it is... all tied together...
better, exercise, sleep better & feel better... pretty simple but pretty smart...
for girls & young women
If you want strong bones, you have to use them! Everyone needs lifelong
weight-bearing exercise to build & maintain healthy bones. Girls & young women especially should
concentrate on building strong bones now to cut their risk of osteoporosis later in life. A bone thinning disease that can
lead to devastating fractures, osteoporosis afflicts many women after menopause & some men in older age.
Osteoporosis is responsible for almost all the hip fractures in older
people. The disease is largely preventable if you get enough weight-bearing exercise when youre
young, stay active & continue other healthy habits as you age.
Bone mass &
The maximum size & density of your bones (peak bone mass) is determined by genetics but you need weight-bearing
exercise to reach top strength. The best time to build bone density is during years of rapid growth.
- Weight-bearing exercise during the teen years is ideal.
- Bones continue to grow during the 20's &
sometimes into the early 30's. (Bone loss normally begins in the mid-30's.)
Osteoporosis prevention is a special concern for females for a number of reasons:
- Women generally reach peak bone mass at an
earlier age than men.
- Peak bone mass tends to be lower in women
than in men.
- Women undergo rapid bone loss after menopause
when levels of the bone strengthening hormone estrogen drop dramatically.
Doing regular weight-bearing exercise for the rest of your life can help maintain your bone strength.
Weight-bearing describes any activity you do on your feet
that works your bones and muscles against gravity. Bone is living tissue that constantly breaks down and reforms. When you
do regular weight-bearing exercise, your bone adapts to the impact of weight and pull of muscle by building more cells and
Some activities recommended to build leg, hip and lower spine
- Brisk walking, jogging and hiking.
- Yard work such as pushing a lawnmower and
- Team sports such as soccer, baseball and
- Dancing, step aerobics and stair climbing.
- Tennis and other racquet sports.
- Skiing, skating, karate and bowling.
Weight training with machines or free weights can also help
build strong bones, especially in the upper body. (Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing activities.)
You should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, four or
more days a week. Besides improving bone strength, regular exercise also increases muscle strength, improves coordination
and balance and leads to better overall health. To sustain the bone strengthening benefit of weight-bearing activity, you
must increase the intensity, duration and amount of stress applied to bone over time.
In addition to doing weight-bearing exercise, to protect
yourself from osteoporosis, you should also:
- Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
This may include dairy products (i.e., milk, yogurt and cheese), vegetables (i.e., spinach and broccoli) and fish (i.e., sardines
- Practice a healthy lifestyle with no smoking
or excessive drinking.
- See your doctor for a bone density test and/or
medications as necessary.
Premenopausal women who exercise too much or suffer from
the eating disorder anorexia nervosa can also develop long term problems with weak bones if low body weight stops normal menstrual
periods (amenorrhea). (See Female athletic triad.) If this happens during rapid growth years, you could lose bone
mass at a time when your body needs to be building it. See your doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.
2/3 of teenage girls currently are trying to lose weight
or have attempted to lose weight recently, according to a study of America's youth. By the time they reach
age 18, about 1/2 of U.S. girls feel they
But despite their negative self-image, girls are not exercising
as frequently as boys, indicate findings of the Harris Interactive YouthPulse study.
The latest study was conducted online in January with 3,878
people from the ages of 8 to 24.
"It is clear that teen girls are more critical of their bodies
than teen boys," said John Geraci, Harris Interactive's vice president for youth research. "The gap between the proportion
of girls & boys who see themselves as being overweight is significant, but what is shocking is how young this perception
starts. We found that about 1/3 of 8 to 12 year-old girls feel they are overweight."
In fact, more than 1/3 of 10 to 12 year-olds are trying to
lose weight or have in the past; that number jumps to 65% for girls between the ages of 13 & 15, the study found.
Geraci added, "By most measures, physical activity among
young people is decreasing. At the same time, we are seeing decreases in body image perceptions & increases in dieting
behaviors among girls."
The study also found that despite female teens & young
adults being more apt than males in the same age range to say they are overweight, they are exercising less. Girls age 13
- 24 were more likely than boys to be trying to lose weight (50% vs. 24%) & to perceive themselves as overweight (47%
vs. 34%), but less likely to be physically active. 3 in 10 females age 13 - 24 reported that they had not participated in
activities that made them sweat or breathe hard in the past week, while less than 1/4 of their male counterparts said the
the new debate about stretching in warm ups!
Lap at a Time
Program sets pre-teen girls on the path to confidence
By Janice Billingsley
SUNDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) - Hitting puberty can be like hitting a brick wall for a girl.
One day she's
playing soccer & softball & hanging out with her girlfriends. The next day she can feel pressure to be pretty, thin, flirtatious & not too smart if she wants to be popular with boys.
girl to navigate her way around this trap?
Molly Barker of
N.C., thinks she's hit on a solid solution. She's the founder of Girls on
the Run, an innovative program that prepares young girls for the pitfalls of puberty by combining
a big dose of running with games, exercises & discussions designed to enhance a girl's
self-esteem so she can enter her teens with confidence.
"I really believe that women struggle to remain true to themselves," said Barker, a former Ironman triathlete with a master's
degree in social work.
When she was a
teen, Barker wrestled with the pressure to fit into what she calls "the girl box," to be popular. Girls on
the Run is her effort to reach young girls before they encounter such teen-years turmoil.
The effort seems
to be paying off. Begun as an after-school program in 1996 with 13 3rd graders from Charlotte, Girls on the Run now
operates in 198 cities in the United States & Canada, and has reached approximately 40,000
8 & 9 year-olds, Barker said. Half of the girls who participate in one 12-week, 24-lesson session sign up for more. And
a new program called Girls on Track
is being unveiled for older girls who are entering middle school.
"The activities make you feel really good about yourself. I've learned that you don't have to look like a supermodel to be loveable," said Madeleine Moore, a 10-year-old graduate of the Charlotte program.
"I have more confidence," agreed Tuesday Welch, an 11-year-old Charlotte
graduate who has signed up for Girls on Track. "I've learned to look at myself on the inside
& not listen to what other people say about me."
A Girls on
the Run program, which meets twice weekly after school, offers running at a track as the centerpiece for each session.
But exercise is only part of the goal. The broader aim is to enhance the girls' social, emotional, physical & spiritual health, Barker said.
"The program is
founded on 3 key concepts," Barker said. The first 4
weeks help the girls to think about themselves in an objective way - "This is what I believe & this is what I stand for," she said.
To make it fun,
Barker has created games, including one in which the names of different emotions - anger, anxiety, joy & sadness, i.e., are written on separate index cards. The girls race each other while compiling a bingo-like
collection of the cards, then talk about their own emotions & how to best manage them.
The second 4 weeks of the program, again including relay races &
other physical activity, focuses on teamwork, dealing with conflict (such
as learning how not to gossip) &
building a sense of connectedness with each other.
Finally, the girls learn to understand they're part of a larger community & can use their skills & power to change the community for the better.
professor & chief psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine, said, "This is a wonderful age to start this. The
healthier foundation you have, the more you have to build on so that when things get stressful, you have the resources to cope with them."
And, she added,
the non-competitive nature of the program teaches the girls teamwork & builds their self-confidence.
Melissa Welch, Tuesday's mother, is delighted with the lessons her daughter has learned from Girls on the
Run & wishes it could continue as her child gets older.
"It's going to end before she outgrows it," she said.
learn more, visit Girls on the Run (www.girlsontherun.org ).
Enter main content here
if you're needing to change your eating habits, begin an exercise program...
angels & princesses may have questions about their
Do You Lose More Weight When Exercising On An Empty
Stomach? - By John Tiniakos
do you think your mom
knows the answer to this question? ask her & tell me!
I would like to talk about when is the best time to exercise for maximum weight loss. While the type of exercise, the intensity
& duration is important with respect to weight loss, the time of exercise is equally as important – if not more
Timing your workout can be crucial. There are specific times during the day during which your body burns fat most
efficiently. It has to do with your eating cycle - or more accurately with your body’s digestive cycle. The body burns
more fat when you exercise on a relatively empty stomach – contrary to many claims out there that state otherwise. The
longer you wait to exercise after a meal the more fat your body will burn.
Is that truth
A university researcher studied the effects of exercising on a full
versus an empty stomach. A group of women participated in 2 exercise studies. In one they exercised twice before meals &
in the other, after meals.
Evidence showed that when the subjects exercised on an empty stomach (before meals), blood glucose
levels were lower in the periods following meals & during the night, than the when they exercised on a full stomach (after
This suggested that exercising before meals can help to regulate blood glucose levels almost as
well as 2 popular glucose-lowering drugs. (1)
To take it one step further, since
this type of exercise method lowers blood glucose, lower amounts of glucose may translate to decreases in body fat.
Remember excess glucose in the blood (from carbohydrate) may be stored as fat.
This study, it seems, supports the widely popular theory that the best time to exercise for fat loss, is on
an empty stomach. A theory which many claim is only a myth.
I decided to put this theory to the test. I'm well into my 30's now & I find it more difficult
too keep the pounds off these days (with everything being constant).
In other words, I'm not eating more calories than I did 10-15 years ago & I’m also not
exercising any less. And yet I had put on an extra 12 pounds. By the way, I also have a slow metabolism.
So, I wanted to see if there would be a significant difference when I exercised before breakfast instead of
2-3 hours after dinner which is what I had been doing. My workout was exactly the same, I didn’t change anything.
I jogged for 30 minutes & followed that by 15 minutes of high intensity interval training.
The results were shocking. I lost 11 pounds in 4 1/2 weeks – that was extra weight around the mid-section that
I was carrying around for quite some time.
In truth, however, I'm not really a morning
person & find that my body has a hard time waking up for a workout first thing in the morning. If you’re not a morning
person, you’ll know what I mean. So I'm going to experiment by switching my workout period to first just before lunch
& then just before dinner (on a fairly empty stomach).
I’ll let you know what the results will be. I have a feeling they’ll still be more
favorable with respect to weight loss than when workouts are conducted after meals.
“Exercise nearly as successful as drugs at lowering blood sugar”, retrieved 6 July 2006 from click here to view!