1.What is meant by Physical Exercise?

Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "diseases of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

2.What is the term means Active Living?

Active Living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines, like walking to the store or biking to work.Active Living brings together urban planners, architects, transportation engineers, public health professionals and others to build places that encourage routine activity. One example includes efforts to build sidewalks, crosswalks and other ways for children to walk safely to and from school. Compact, mixed-use development, where residential uses are located close to stores, jobs and recreational opportunities (parks, etc.) has also been found to encourage a more active lifestyle.

3.What does stretching have to do with sports performance?

  Stretching to improve your flexibility can improve your sports performance. For instance, if you are more flexible and have greater range of motion, your tennis racket or the head of your golf club will travel farther, increasing the force with which it impacts the ball.

4.How can I improve my balance?

  Falling can be dangerous for older people, and fear of falling can cause people to restrict their activities. Strength training can help prevent falls. Tai chi and some yoga can improve balance, and there are also specific balance exercises, some using exercise balls. Exercise training is specific so you have to do balance training on your feet. Chair exercises won't do it.

5.How much stretching do I have to do to warmup?

 Muscle stretching shouldn't be your starting warmup. Warm up first with a few minutes of walking, cycling, etc., then stretch. You can also do stretching exercises at the end of your cardio workout. Stretching cold muscles can cause injuries. There is also some research indicating that a lot of stretching can cause a short-term dip in muscle strength, so for weight training, save your serious stretching for after the workout.

6.What is deep water running?

 Try running in the deep end of a pool, wearing a flotation belt, for a more intense water exercise workout. Use your ordinary upright running style. Deep water running is good for rehab and for athletic training, as you can work hard with no impact. This is different, and more vigorous, than water aerobics exercises, which are generally done in the shallow end.

7.How should I cool down after exercise?

 Make sure to allow for cooling down after aerobic exercise. Do slow walking, cycling, or other easy activity after a vigorous workout until your breathing returns to normal. Never just stand still when your breathing is still heavy and your heart rate is elevated. Make sure you cool down thoroughly before you get in a hot tub or sauna.

8.How can I be sure I stay in the fat burning zone?

 Although you burn a higher percentage of fat calories at slow and moderate aerobic intensities, you burn more total calories, and more total fat calories, when you exercise at higher intensities. You may choose to work out longer and/or slower for various reasons, but never slow down just because you think that's necessary to be in a "fat burning zone."

9.How long should I keep doing the same routine?

  Give an exercise routine 8-12 weeks to work for you. You will not have the physique of your dreams or reach your ultimate fitness goal in that time, but if you're not seeing positive results and improvement with your routine, it's time to try a different exercise plan.

10.What can I do myself for sports injuries?

Remember R.I.C.E.-rest, ice, compression, elevation-as first aid for joint and muscle injuries. Note that it's ice, not heat for the first 48 hours or as long as swelling is present. Even if you have an injury like a bad ankle sprain that requires medical attention, ice it right away, then go to the doctor, unless you can get to the doc in a few minutes.

11.Are ankle injuries common?

  Ankle sprains are the most common athletic injury and can recur because the ligaments, once stretched out, do not easily return to their original state. Make sure you do stretching and rehab after the injury to keep from spraining that ankle again. A few weeks off with proper rehab can keep the injury from hanging around for months, sometimes years.

12.How much water should I drink after a hard workout?

   In general sports nutrition being lighter is actually a bad thing. Weigh yourself before and after a vigorous workout. If you're one pound lighter afterward, you've sweated away about 16 oz. and should replace it by drinking 16 oz. (1 pint) of water.

13.What effect does exercise have on the immune system?

  For years immune system studies have touted fitness as an immune booster, but that's not the whole story. It works this way. Imagine exercise and immunity on a health and fitness bell curve. Too little exercise and you will not have optimum immune function. Moderate exercise enhances immune function and too much exercise-overtraining- can suppress immune function, at least temporarily.

14.Will I lose muscle just because I get older?

  It is true, as you may have read, that you lose muscle mass with age, but you can slow that loss with weight training. You may even be able to gain muscle, depending on your initial fitness and how hard you work out. Maintaining muscle goes along with maintaining the strength necessary to perform the activities of daily living and stay independent.

15.What are the benefits of doing tai chi?

 Tai chi was originally a martial art, but is now used more commonly for its health benefits, and as a relaxing mind-body exercise. It has been shown to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, improve blood pressure, and reduce stress. It can also improve strength and agility, especially if you incorporate knowledge of its roots in martial arts.

16.Should I choose a walking route that does not have hills?

  It's all uphill from here--and that's a good thing. Don't avoid walking up hills; they make you stronger. If a hill is too steep for comfort, zigzag up or down. Hill walking for exercise builds leg muscles, and you can enjoy the view while walking.

17.How can I keep my ankles flexible?

 To keep your ankles flexible with muscle stretching, try the alphabet stretch. Trace the alphabet in the air with your toes, one foot at a time.

18.How should I stretch my calves?

Give those calves the muscle stretching of their life! You should stretch your calves two ways with two different stretching exercises.First is the usual way where you lean against a wall, step back with the leg to be stretched, knee straight, then keep your heel down and push your hips forward until you feel the stretching in your calf.Second, keep the same position but bend your knee, which will give a better stretch to the soleus muscle and the achilles' tendon.

19. How much exercise is enough?

   An interesting new way to make sure you are getting enough exercise to improve your health and fitness is to count the steps you take during the day. The target is 10,000. You can count them however you figure out (it's a footstrike, so left-right is 2) or use a device called a pedometer. Running or jogging steps count as well as walking, and the device counts steps on the treadmill, StairMaster, elliptical trainer, and pedal revs on the upright but not recumbent bike. Steps taken during sports like tennis or soccer will also count.You'll probably be surprised at your total, but this is a great health and fitness motivational technique for your fitness workout. 10,000 can help control weight as well as improving cardio fitness, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes risk.

20.What should my flexibility goals be?

Sometimes less really is more and you can over-stretch yourself.More flexibility and more stretching are not always better. Work to attain and maintain normal flexibility, unless you need more for your sport or activity. You do not need the flexibility of a gymnast, diver, or ice skater if you are a runner, cyclist, or fitness exerciser.Also, no matter how much you stretch, flexibility is partially genetic. You probably know if you have the potential to excel in a sport that requires great flexibility. Yes, you can probably improve the range of your karate kicks with some stretching exercises, but stretching through pain can lead to joint laxity and possible injury. So don't overdo it.

21.How do I stretch my iliotibial band?

 Stretch the band, the iliotibial band, that is. The iliotibial band runs on the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. When it is irritated, pain is usually felt at the knee. Runners, cyclists, skiers, and aerobic exercisers should stretch it to prevent injury. To get a good stretch of the IT band of the right leg, cross the leg behind your left leg while standing and lean sideways to the left for thorough IT muscle stretching.

22.How should I stretch my hamstrings?

 For a good hamstring stretch, lie on your back on the floor. Leave one leg extended on the floor and raise the other, knee straight, until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Loop a towel around your leg and hold the ends in your hands to make it easier.Again, remember to always warm up well before stretching.

23.How will stretching affect my workout?

 You don't have to do just stretching exercises if you want to be limber and flexible. Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility as well as total-body strength and balance. You have a choice of various yoga styles. You can do classical hatha yoga, or try modern variations like power yoga or yoga booty ballet.

24.How do I set up a split routine?

Split the difference! Doing split weight training routines instead of working your whole body each time allows you to do more sets for the body parts you are working and/or spend fewer hours in the gym, although you will be there more days. You can do 6 days a week total, but 4 is enough for most.Just remember to allow recovery from your weight training program and not work the same muscles 2 days in a row. Typical strength training exercise splits are: upper/lower body; push (chest, shoulders, triceps)/pull (legs, back, biceps); arms, legs, and abs/chest, shoulders, and back.

25.What is the best time to do my exercises?


It depends on you and your daily needs.  Doing your exercises in the morning before you start your day allows you to integrate what you’ve been posturally cued to do in your every day routines.  If you plan on exercising, doing your program right before a workout will again cue your body into better postural habits and movement patterns.  However, if it helps you sleep, do your program before going to bed.  If your free time is limited, doing them whenever you can is far better than not at all.

26.How often should I perform my exercises?


Typically, programs are designed to be completed at least once a day.  Most of our daily activities repeatedly promote poor postural alignment. To make a dramatic change it is essential to intervene with good postural habits at least once a day. If you feel the need to do it twice a day, try and leave an eight-hour window in between to avoid muscle fatigue.


27.How long should I rest in between sets?


Rest for a minimum of five seconds in-between sets to teach your muscles the difference between working and resting.  If your feel that you need a longer rest period, it is okay to take 20 to 30 seconds or more, if you need it.


28.Can I do half my program in the morning and half in the evening?


The programs in the Pain Free Program are designed to be completed all at once.


29.Is the order of the exercises important?


Yes.Exercises should be performed in the order that they appear on your program.  Your program is designed so that each exercise builds on the previous and prepares you for the next exercise.If they appeared in a different order in a previous program, it may be that the focus was slightly different.


30.Can I do one or two exercise in my program without doing the rest?


If you have already done your program in its entirety you may do a couple of favorites at a later time. Even though certain exercises may make you feel considerably better than the rest, all of them are very important to the design of your program.


31. What if an exercise hurts or reproduces pain when I do it?


Pain is contrary to our philosophy of providing an environment for your body to heal.Although you may feel sensations within a muscle group, your exercises should never reproduce your existing pain.First refer to your program to make sure you are performing the exercise correctly.If you are still feeling pain, stop doing the exercise.

32.Can I add exercises to my program?


This is not recommended without a private consultation.  Although it may feel good at the time, you want to make sure that it isn’t counterproductive to the overall goals of your program.

33.What if I prefer to hold exercises longer than the suggested time?


Sometimes it is beneficial to hold a stretch until you notice a release in the muscle.  However, there is a diminishing return to holding a stretch for too long and you may not necessarily benefit more by holding the stretch for a longer duration.

34.Can I continue with my normal exercise routines?


That depends.It may be a good idea to initially refrain from certain exercises, such as resistance training, to help your progress. If your chosen form of exercise exacerbates your pain, it is probably best to stay away from it.


35.If I am working out, when should I do my program?


Ideally, do the program right before working out. This gives your body the opportunity to reinforce good habits and integrate the learning “cues” your Function First program provides.  Doing your program just prior to a workout is like is like prepping the body for exercise. The Function First exercises then become a tool for proactive pain management instead of reactive.

36.Should I continue with my medications?


That is a decision between you and your doctor.  We ask that you refrain from taking painkillers before your program to avoid masking any symptoms.  It will also allow you to better determine if there is an actual difference before and after the exercises.


37.Should I continue with my chiropractic treatments, physical therapy or massage while going through the Pain Free Program?


Typically, passive treatments, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and soft tissue work will not interfere with your Function First program.  The exercise program from Function First should be an excellent complement to these forms of treatment.  Sometimes other movement therapies can be counterproductive to our approach and we try to limit that as much as possible.  If you feel like they are helping you then it is probably best to continue with them.

38. What is the difference between exercise and physical activity?


Exercise is physical activity that follows a planned format using repeated movements to improve or maintain fitness. Exercise progress can be scored and counted. Physical activity is any voluntary body movement that burns calories.

39. How do my muscles work?


Muscle cells contain long strands of protein lying next to each other that shorten or contract when you "make a muscle." When you do strengthening exercises on a regular basis, the bundles of protein strands inside your muscle cells grow bigger. Small changes in muscle size can make a big difference in strength.

40.Is it true that most people lose 20 to 40 percent of their muscle tissue as they age?


Yes, it is true. Loss of muscle and strength is called sarcopenia. This term also refers to the decreased quality of muscle tissue often seen in older adults. Strength exercises can partly restore muscles and strength, often very quickly.In one study, nursing home residents 80 years and older progressed from using walkers to using canes after doing simple muscle-building exercises for 10 weeks.

41. If I have a chronic condition, should I consult a physician before exercising?


Yes. If you are at high risk for any chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes, or if you smoke or are obese, you should check with your doctor before increasing physical activity.

42.How do I know if I'm doing vigorous activity?


During vigorous activity you will find it difficult to talk, you will sweat, and your muscles may feel rubbery. Vigorous activity differs for each person and depends on your individual fitness level. If you are a man over 40 or a woman over 50, check first with your doctor before doing vigorous activity.

43.Do I need a personal trainer?


Most older people do not need a personal trainer. If you have special needs, your doctor will probably be able to refer you to a qualified instructor. If you look for someone independently, ask for credentials and cost.You could also hire a physical therapist or doctor who specializes in sports medicine, or a trainer who is certified to work with older people by the American College of Sports Medicine, or ACSM. Local colleges and universities that hold special exercise classes or study exercise for older people also might be a good source of referrals.

44. Do I need special clothing?


Any comfortable, loose-fitting clothes will do. If it's cold, wear several layers of light clothing, which you can remove as needed. Athletic shoes with good padding, arch supports, and uppers that allow air to circulate around your feet are ideal. The size of your feet changes as you grow older so always have your feet measured before buying shoes.The best time to have your feet measured is at the end of the day when your feet are largest. Be sure new shoes feel good on your feet while you are still in the store -uncomfortable spots will probably not get better. If you have diabetes, break in new shoes gradually to avoid blisters and sore spots.

45.Do I need to buy any special equipment?


No. You don't need to buy special equipment to exercise. For the strength building exercises that use hand weights, you can substitute milk jugs filled with sand or water. Hopefully, you will already have a sturdy, armless chair and a pillow to use for some of the strength-building exercises.

46.Should I eat or drink anything special?


As you get older, you may need water even though you don't have the urge to drink. Be sure to drink fluids when you are doing any activity that makes you sweat. Your body also needs fuel for exercise and physical activities.The biggest part of your calories should come from grains, the next largest from vegetables and fruit, then fish, poultry, meats, and dairy products. The less fats, oils, and sweets you eat, the better, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Pyramid.

47.What kinds of exercise should I do?


Four types of exercise are important to help older adults gain health benefits:

a.strength exercises, such as weight lifting

b.balance exercises, such as side leg raises

c.flexibility exercises, such as stretching

d.endurance exercises, such as walking, swimming, or jogging.

48. How can strength exercises help me?


Strength exercises,like weight lifting or push-ups, build your muscles and may make you more independent by giving you more strength to do things on your own.Strength exercises also increase your metabolism, which helps keep your weight and blood sugar in check.

49.What safety tips should I follow for strength exercises?


a.Breathe during strength exercises. Holding your breath could affect your blood pressure.

b.Use smooth, steady movements to bring weights into position.

c.Avoid jerking or thrusting movements.

c.Avoid locking the joints of your arms or legs into a strained position.

d.Breathe out as you lift or push a weight and breathe in as you relax.

Muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after muscle building exercises. Exhaustion, sore joints, and painful muscle pulls are not normal.

50.How can I tell if my lower body strength is increasing?


Time yourself as you walk up a flight of stairs as fast as you safely can. Record your score. Repeat the test, using the same stairs, one month later. It should take you less time.

51.How can I tell if my upper body strength is increasing?


Record how much weight you lift and how many times you lift that weight, each time you do your strength exercises.Compare this figure to the amount you could lift a month ago.

52.How can balance exercises help me?


Balance exercises, like side leg raises and knee flexions, help prevent falls and build leg muscles. Some balance exercises build up your leg muscles, and others improve your balance when you do simple activities like briefly standing on one leg.


53. What safety tips should I follow for balance exercises?


If you have progressed to doing exercises with your eyes closed, ask someone to watch you the first few times in case you lose your balance.

54. How can I tell if my balance is improving?


Stand near something sturdy to hold onto in case you lose your balance. Time yourself as you stand on one foot, without support, for as long as possible. Record your score. Repeat the test while standing on the other foot. Test yourself again in one month.

55. How can flexibility exercises help me?


Flexibility exercises, like stretching, may help keep your body limber, prevent injuries and falls, or hasten recovery from injuries. They do this by stretching your muscles and the tissues that hold your body's structures in place.


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