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Home > Physical Activity and Nature Cure > Exercise > Methods and Precautions
Methods and Precautions
Several systems of exercise have been developed over the years, the most popular among them being the Swedish system and yoga asanas, the latter having been practised from ancient times in India. Whichever system one chooses to adopt, the exercises should be performed systematically, regularly and under proper guidance.

To be really useful, exercise should be taken in such a manner as to bring into action all the muscles of the body in a natural way. Walking is one such exercise. It is, however, so gentle in character that one must walk several kilometres in a brisk manner to constitute a fair amount of exercise, 0ther forms of good exercise are swimming, cycling, horse-riding, tennis, etc.

Vigorous exercise of any kind should not be taken for an hour and a half after eating, or immediately before meals. Weak patients and those suffering from serious diseases like cancer, heart trouble, tuberculosis and asthma should not undertake vigorous exercise except under the supervision of a competent physician. If exercising makes you tired, stop immediately. The purpose of exercise should be to make you feel refreshed and relaxed and not tired.

The most important rule about the fitness plan is to start with very light exercise and to increase the effort in gradual and easy stages- The sense of well-being will begin almost immediately. One can start off with a brisk walk for 151020 minutes. A comfortable sense of tiredness should be the aim. It is valueless and possibly harmful to become exhausted or seriously short of breath. Perhaps, one should aim at activities, which need about two-thirds of one`s maximum ability. One way to assess is to count your own pulse rate.

Counting of pulse is quite easy. Feel the pulse on your left wrist with the middle three fingers of your right hand. Press just firmly enough to feel the beat eaily. Now count the number of beats in 15 seconds, with the help of a watch with clear second hand, and calculate your rate by multiplying by four. At rest heart beats 70 to 80 times in a minute. This rate increases during exercise. Really vigorous exercise can produce rates as high as 200 beats per minute or more. A reasonable aim is to exercise at about two-thirds of maximum capacity. It follows that heart rate should be about 130 per minute during and just after exercise. Exertion should always be avoided in any case.
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