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Most of us have have been part of discussions regarding fitness, and what should be the right age to begin a fitness journey. Back in the day, going to a gym as a teenager was frowned upon, often told by parents to stick to sports or studies as it would stunt your growth.

Not everyone begins their fitness journey at the same time. Besides, modern lifestyles and technology take up a huge amount of time away, and keeping schedules up for fitness can become erratic. Generally, exercising maximises the overall health benefits, but doing it wrong can cause injuries or have long-term conditions.

That’s why, performing an exercise under the supervision of a trainer is a necessity. Whenever you join a gym, always speak to the trainer regarding health issues if any, desired fitness goals and discuss the target with regards to height, weight and other parameters. These factors allow them to understand your fitness needs and help train you better.

Some may start earlier than others depending on their fitness goals, but no two bodies are similar, and focusing on your own methods and programmes are encouraging.

  1. The right age to join the gym
  2. The right time to go to the gym
  3. Benefits of going to the gym
  4. Side effects of going to the gym

Contrary to past notions about fitness, the benefits of exercising far outweigh the risks. Whether it is a young child or a teenager or even someone older, anyone can benefit from exercise suited to their age and ability, of course. Making a child exercise only helps in making them become more spacially aware, along with gaining strength and more control over their physical coordination.

According to America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids should workout for at least one hour a day. Regular exercise prevents stress, increases confidence, balance weight, benefits in good health and sleep. However, it is necessary to understand the right exercises for your kids according to their age.

Exercises for 2-3 year olds
At the age of two to three, a kid should practice running, jumping and playing games. Make sure that playing games and running aren't stressful for them. Kids can start learning swimming at that age as well, as picking up a skill like swimming can come to them much sooner than it will take a grown-up child to. Encouraging them to play and understand their body's limitations and motions is a great way to teach them about physical acitivities.

Exercises for 4-5 year olds
Four to five-year-old kids can practice running, jumping and skipping rope kind of exercises. Gymnastics and swimming can also be great for this age. However, make sure that these exercises are fun rather than stressful or competitive. You can also implement knowledge about the games and their benefits.

Exercises for 6-12 year olds
Let your child decide the exercise or sport they want to play. At this age, they can learn to enjoy or discover new games, pick up new skills and explore. Activities like playing cricket, yoga, climbing, gymnastics, basketball, football and swimming are great to learn at this age. You can encourage them to try certain sports but don’t force them.

Exercises for 13-18 year olds
Teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years can exercise as much as adults. At this age, you can start going to the gym. You can practice running, swimming and weight lifting (according to strength) exercises. Other than that, teens can play football, basketball or other sports that help in their overall physical development.

A teenager can even think about intense workouts and build muscles at the gym with some intense exercises such as weightlifting, crossfit and aerobics. However, it should be done under the supervision of a trainer.

Some say exercising bright and early in the morning is the path to eternal fitness, while others prefer exercising in the evening. Which is better? Studies suggest working out early in the morning helps in burning 20% more fat than later in the day, while others recommend working out after dusk due to more strength and stress relief. Working out later in the evening also promotes better sleep at night.

Working out in the evening produces different hormones in the body than exercising in the morning does. Mornings are productive for exercise because the body's testosterone is at the highest at that time. After dark, however, the body has conditioned itself through the day and better prepared.

Busy office hours and unscheduled meetings tend to eat into the evening workout hours, while morning workouts keep people consistent over a longer period of time. However, both times of the day have their own benefits:

Benefits of working out in the morning

  • Keeps you consistent.
  • Higher testosterone that translates to more muscle gain.
  • Body releases more growth hormones.
  • Great for burning fat as well as cardio.
  • Boosts metabolism.
  • Energy levels are higher in the morning.
  • Keeps you confident throughout the day as a result.
  • Starting up early with a fresh mind reduces stress.

Benefits of working out in the night

  • Promotes better sleep.
  • High strength.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Higher muscle growth is observed in evening workouts.
  • Sleeping after a workout aids faster muscle recovery.
  • You won’t feel tired during your work.
  • A perfect end to a stressful day.

However, it really depends on an individual’s body and when it responds the best. Your own behaviroural patters decide whether you’re a night person or morning. To understand your body clock, try both and see which one you find more convenient and helpful.

According to a study, time is not a necessity for working out. It's important to show up and exercise rather than fixate over the time of day. Following a routine always helps, so if mornings suit you more, stick to that or vice versa.

Whether it is weight training, cardio or other forms of exercise you prefer, there are several benefits of exercising in the gym.

Maintaining a healthy weight

We all are aware of the fact that working out helps in regulating body weight. When we perform intense workouts, our body burns more calories, which helps in keeping the weight balanced. So if one is looking to lose weight, exercising regularly is a definite path towards turning things around.

Going to the gym benefits your overall health

Working out keeps your heart and lungs more active which leads to a healthy life. Exercising helps maintain or regulate cholesterol levels in the body and ensures smooth blood circulation as they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Several diseases can be prevented with just regular exercise: Stroke, type-2 diabetes, depression and arthritis are just a few that can be avoided.

Regular gym reduces stress and tension

Physical activity releases hormones and chemicals which help maintain a happy balance in the mind as well as the body. The production of hormones that help elevate mood helps keep stress away. 

Gym gives you confidence

A fitter body is the source of confidence among many of us. Clothes fit better, people appear healthier and happier, all helping towards building confidence.

Gym exercises make you energetic

Exercise and physical activity helps produce take in more oxygen and utilize the nutrients in the body better, helping the heat and blood vessels to work more efficiently, leading to higher energy levels throughout the day.

Working out treats insomnia

If you're an insomniac, then working out at the gym can help you out. Regular exercise improves poor sleeping habits and treats insomnia. When your body gets exhausted you will feel tired and want to fall asleep.

Going to the gym improves sex life

Regular exercise also helps increase sex drive. According to a study, exercising helps improve sexual desire among women and helps men with disorders such as erectile dysfunction.

Working out promotes a happier life

Exercising has numerous benefits on people's mental health, as it battles stress by producing happy hormones, besides being an effective counter for more serious ailments such as depression.

Working out makes our brain more efficient

According to some studies, cardio exercises increase our brain’s power. While performing physical activities, the brain releases a protein that improves our decision-making ability. Working out also increases the amount of protein in the entire body.

There may not be any negative psychological impact on a person by working out, but there remains a risk of injury, especially towards the end of your workout when you appear to be tiring. Workout injuries can derail someone's fitness program but they can be avoided by following the right methods and lifting techniques.

Side effects of too much exercise

Overtraining can cause fatigue and restlessness. Without adequate rest afterwards, it can begin affecting your physical health which can also lead to exercise addition.

Too much exercise will don’t make you feel more active but can cause fatigue. Except for this, exercise addiction can cause fever, insomnia, aggression, and muscle pain.

High-intensity workouts shouldn’t be practiced more than three days a week. When you train at high-intensity your muscles take longer to recover, hence opting for a low-intensity workout while recovering your muscles is wise.

High-intensity workouts can cause

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Heavy-legs
  • Aggression
  • Muscle pain

Side effects when you stop going to the gym

  • Weight gain: Burning more calories while exercising helps maintain a healthy weight, but when we stop going to the gym, one can regain that lost weight quickly.
  • Joint pain: Irregular exercising can often lead one to experience aches and pains in the form of pain in the joints. But instead of stopping exercising altogether, it is better to lower the intensity of your workouts and continue.
  • Decrease in physical capabilities: Working out on a regular basis increases the strength of your muscles, but when you stop, your muscles start to weaken.
  • Muscle pain: Abruptly stopping a physical activity may lead you to experience muscle pain of some kind. This happens due to breaking up of the muscles.
  • Putting heart at risk: Heart health starts deteriorating a few weeks after you stop going to the gym.
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