Health and Wellness Benefits of Conditioning Exercises
Elite athletes and regular folk benefit equally from performing regular exercises. There are many possible activities to perform. Unlike strengthening programs, conditioning exercises target large muscle groups. There are also different exercise programs from which people can choose. Conditioning exercises have numerous benefits to the body, foremost of which is the optimization of bodily functions. The benefits of conditioning are well documented, and have been shown to improve the quality of life in general.
The rationale for conditioning programs
In general, conditioning programs are intended to improve aerobic conditioning processes in the body such that the capability of the heart and lungs to pump and distribute blood, respectively are increased. Conditioning exercises improve cardiovascular performance. Overall, physical fitness is improved and the individual maintains good endurance levels during the lifespan.
One of the long-term physiological effects of conditioning programs is improved efficiency of the delivery of oxygen to the cells of the body. In effect, the heart and lungs function more effectively. With each heartbeat, more blood is pumped, and with each lungful, more air is taken in. At the cellular level, this translates to better distribution of nutrients and oxygen to parts of the body that are used during physical exertion.
Benefits of conditioning exercises for amateur and professional athletes
For athletes, conditioning exercise programs implemented during practice sessions promote optimum performance during athletic events. Moreover, these programs enhance the individual’s capacity to perform at optimal levels for a longer period of time. As such, most athletes undergo conditioning exercises for at least six weeks before starting the period of daily practice regimens. A conditioning program is usually implemented in accordance with other exercise regimens geared towards developing muscle endurance, strength, and flexibility. Most of the time, certain types of exercise equipment are used and athletes are prescribed proper footwear and other necessary materials depending on the program requirements.
Conditioning, also known as aerobic training increases the ability of the heart and lungs to provide an adequate amount of oxygen delivered via the bloodstream to working muscles, lowering the oxygen debt that usually leads to fatigue and poor performance levels. With regular performance of these exercises, elite athletes present with low baseline heart rate, which reflects the increased efficiency of cardiac function that they have attained. For example, world-class endurance cyclists Lance Armstrong and Michel Indurain have resting heart rates of 28 bpm (beats per minute) and 32 bpm, respectively.
Benefits of conditioning to healthy adults
Today, some of the most popular conditioning exercises are swimming, aerobic programs, and running. A healthy adult can engage in these or other activities such as walking for half an hour around the neighborhood, mowing the lawn, or walking a treadmill and reap the benefits of conditioning. With 150-200 minutes per week of conditioning exercises, people can keep their cardiovascular systems in good shape while maintaining an ideal weight. As a result, the risk for developing heart and lung disease is lowered. Improvements in mood and sleeping patterns have also been attributed to regular performance of conditioning programs.