Warm up. This is the act of preparing your body for the stress of exercise. The body can be warmed up with light intensity aerobic movements like walking slowly. These movements increase blood flow, which in turn heats up muscles and joints. "Think of it as a lube job for the body," Bryant explains. At the end of your warm-up, it's a good idea to do a little light stretching.
Jump up ^ Gomez-Pinilla F, Hillman C (January 2013). "The influence of exercise on cognitive abilities". Compr. Physiol. 3 (1): 403–428. doi:10.1002/cphy.c110063. ISBN 9780470650714. PMC 3951958. PMID 23720292. Abundant research in the last decade has shown that exercise is one of the strongest promoters of neurogenesis in the brain of adult rodents (97, 102) and humans (1,61), and this has introduced the possibility that proliferating neurons could contribute to the cognitive enhancement observed with exercise. In addition to BDNF, the actions of IGF-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (54) are considered essential for the angiogenic and neurogenic effects of exercise in the brain. Although the action of exercise on brain angiogenesis has been known for many years (10), it is not until recently that neurovascular adaptations in the hippocampus have been associated with cognitive function (29). Exercise enhances the proliferation of brain endothelial cells throughout the brain (113), hippocampal IGF gene expression (47), and serum levels of both IGF (178) and VEGF (63). IGF-1 and VEGF, apparently produced in the periphery, support exercise induced neurogenesis and angiogenesis, as corroborated by blocking the effects of exercise using antibodies against IGF-1 (47) or VEGF (63).
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.