Thursday 9 June 2016

Marla Ahlgrimm on the Proper Way to Begin an Exercise Routine

Marla Ahlgrimm
The “overload principle” is how the body adapts to new physical strain, says women’s healthcare expert and author Marla Ahlgrimm. Essentially, this means the body needs time to grow accustomed to activity in order to best benefit from exercise. In the following conversation, Ahlgrimm answers questions about planning a new fitness program.

Q: Is it best to jump head first into a workout and basically “shock” my muscles into performing?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Not at all! The opposite is true, actually. Anytime you start a new routine that involves potential strain on the muscles, it’s better to do it slowly. If the muscles are not properly stretched and prepared for the strain, you could suffer from soreness or overload injury. For instance, if you want to start running three miles a day, you’ll probably be more successful if you walk a mile a day the first week, then work your way up to greater distances and faster speeds.

Q: How can I know if I have over stressed my body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: A quick self assessment the morning after an intense workout is really all you need. If you’ve overdone it, your muscles will be sore and you may be more tired than usual.

Q: What are the long term effects of overtraining?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Insomnia, fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, and an elevated heart rate upon waking are all signs that you need to take a break for a few days, then begin again at a more comfortable pace.

Q: Once I have gotten used to working out, how can I maximize my time at the gym?

Marla Ahlgrimm: First and foremost, listen to your body! If it shows signs of being depleted, take a break. Also, make sure you get plenty of protein, which will help your muscles recover. Stay hydrated and add an extra half an hour to your nightly sleep schedule to allow your body ample time to heal.


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