Blood vessels play an important role in metabolism too. You must have read this mystical word – metabolism – in almost any fitness article or book. What does it mean? It means transformation or change. Your body has two kinds of metabolism. One: the transformation of food, which is burned by oxygen, to become energy. Two: the transformation of food into forming new tissue.
To give you an example of how it works: your car runs on petrol which is transformed into energy which makes the vehicle run. Similarly, food is fuel for your body and oxygen transforms it into energy to enable you to ‘run’.
Your body needs carbohydrates, proteins and fat food to keep its metabolic equilibrium.
But, if you overeat, the balance of the body gets upset. It can only transform a certain amount of fat for energy. If you pour in more fatty food than it can take, it overflows like your vehicle would if you put more petrol than its tank can hold. This overflow goes into your blood and, unfortunately, has strong staying power. Your blood vessels are the possessive types and refuse to let go of that extra fat. And they become even more possessive if you are the sedentary sort who does not exercise. The fat gets deposited on the inner walls of your arteries as extra cholesterol which resist the blood-flow.
If you have been exercising daily, your efficient metabolism will dissolve that fat from your bloodstream within two to four hours. If you have not been exercising at all, the fat remains in your bloodstream for a longer time-span as long as ten hours. Chances are that in those ten hours you will eat again at least once. And over the days, weeks, months, years, you have un-metabolised fat filling up your blood. And slowly, the body which began as a healthy mechanism at ease, becomes unbalanced and is uncomfortable and not at ease. This is how a person gets a disease meaning dis-ease or not at ease.
To prevent this from happening or even to correct the imbalance of your body, your doctor tells you to eat fatless food and exercise. So that as your body’s system gets trained, the metabolism revs up and begins to burn off that extra fat. If he or she asks you to stop smoking, it is to stop you from inhaling carbon monoxide and to allow oxygen to circulate freely through your body enabling the purifying process to take its own natural course.
Sedentary people who land at the doctor’s dispensary, however, quite often do not seem to understand the importance of exercising. Since swallowing a pill makes them feel better they are convinced that the pill is their saviour. They couldn’t be more wrong. The pill is a temporary suppressant of their symptoms. Exercising – depending upon the illness provides the long-term and permanent cure.
What is the co-relation of fat and muscle? Fat is the fat man in your system, while muscle is the lean guy. If you do not exercise, fat spreads itself gleefully all around making the poor lean muscle shrink further into himself. But when you begin exercising the muscle has to move. As the oxygen pours in, he perks up and starts flexing himself. As he gets more toned up, he claims his territorial rights by using his oxygen-filled ‘breath’ to burn off his foe – fat. As the fat begins to burn, the lean muscle takes its place. And your skin tautens where previously it had bulged with fat.
And your heart? He is your body’s best friend – working twenty-four hours a day. Whatever indignities you pile on him, the poor chap keeps pumping away valiantly. He is the centre of the entire oxygen-process. He draws in oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it all through your body. And it is this steady pumping action that also pushes the waste carbon dioxide towards the lungs to be expelled.
When the fat-clogged arteries do not allow blood to flow freely through them, he obligingly pumps faster to try and get as much oxygen to your body as possible. But, this fast-motion is bad for him and you. However, when you exercise, and your arteries clear up, allowing free blood flow, your heart can pump slowly and efficiently and transmit oxygen to every part of the body without straining himself. In short, he is strained when he has to try and pump the diminishing blood with more strokes. Whereas, he is in his element when he can pump more blood with fewer strokes.
Your pulse communicates to you how fast or slow your heart is beating.
Your resting pulse rate:
Take a watch with a seconds hand and sit still for about five minutes. Then, place your index and middle finger on your wrist or below your jaw and begin counting the beats. Count for ten seconds and then multiply that number by six, to give your beats per minute. If your heart pulses at the rate of 70 (or below) beats per minute, it means you are in a healthy condition. Above 70 means you should exercise to help lessen the strain on your heart.
For example, if your pulse rate is 80 beats per minute, it means it is beating at 10 extra beats per minute to keep you going. In a day, it is doing 14,400 beats more than it is geared for. Is that fair? Is it healthy? of course not! It is time to get into the fitness lifestyle immediately! Even if your heart is going at 70 beats per minute, exercise will ease it even more. Plus, the stronger it is, the more energy will you have, the more efficient will you become.
After all, what is exercising? It is your love affair with your heart. As we said earlier, your heart is a great guy. As you warm up, he responds immediately. By beginning your warm-ups you are complimenting him by acknowledging his importance. And as you exercise, he hums and thrums with appreciation. He is willing to do anything for you after that first warm rush of blood that makes him beat faster. All through your exercising routine, he will be with you, a happy companion keeping pace with your every move. With him beating in rhythm to your time and movements, you will feel like doing even more. And finally, as you cool down, he will be throbbing out his joyous message to you. That was great, he purrs, let us do it every day! You cannot resist such enthusiasm for your own wellbeing, can you?