Exercise is just moving. Moving in a certain way to get a reaction and an adaptation. This is a simple, plain English explanation of what that looks like.
When you get yourself out of breath, raise your heart rate and get a bit of a sweat on, your cardiovascular system says, hang on a minute, whats happening here? Your heart and lungs then go away and adapt to cope with what you are asking it to do. Your heart and lungs get stronger and more efficient at pumping blood and oxygen around your body. This provides the oxygen to fuel your fat burning mechanism. You get fitter and more able to cope with what life throws your way.
When you move muscles under resistance, they do the same. It’s called hypertrophy. Your muscles get stronger. Both muscular endurance and muscular strength. Your body adapts.
Adaptation simply means, do what you can, rest, repeat and try and beat it next time. This applies to resistance work and cardiovascular fitness. Let’s take this and use press ups and walking as examples for adaptations;
A press up will help strengthen your chest muscles, your abdominals and arms. If you start with press ups against a wall, your muscles adapt so you will be able to do them leaning against a table top. Then you will be strong enough to do them on the floor, first on your knees then as a full press up. Once you are doing better press ups you can do say 10 seconds. Next time you aim to do 15 seconds etc. Maybe you adapt by repetitions. You do 10 press ups without stopping. You set a target to do 20 next time etc. It’s doing it the best way you can and then beating it as you get stronger.
Walking helps general fitness. You walk as fast as you can till you need to stop. Next time try walking a bit further or a longer time. Maybe you pick a different route that includes inclines. A slight gradient hill to start with, progressing to a steep hill or flight of stairs. You get the picture. Adaptation on your terms.
As you move your body, it requires energy. It gets this from the calories you take on board in the food you consume
When you move it raises you metabolism. The better your metabolism the better you can burn calories. By doing consistent movement throughout the day, your metabolism is constantly being stimulated.
You will be more likely to burn calories while you are watching the TV! What?
It’s called EPOC. Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. Simplified it means, when you raise your metabolism, heart rate and use your muscles energy reserves through exercise, the body needs to recover and return to normal. To do this it requires energy. So when you are at rest your body is still working.
Moving releases endorphins into your system. Endorphins are commonly known as ‘happy hormones’. Happy hormones help create a more positive mindset and a better coping mechanism.
Basic yes, true yes, simple to do yes.