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What does the term strenuous exercises mean to you? I immediately picture someone panting heavily, with beads of sweat running down their face, the breath in hard beats hitting the air, muscles all over contracting and releasing; the face full of pain and agony with the torture that they're putting their body through.

So while I'm right about the physiological changes that take place in a person's body (the sweating and breathing), the torture part is liberally stretched. The deal is that people who indulge in strenuous exercises are used to it and it is their objective to get their body to react that way. What is strenuous exercising, exactly? And is it good to put the body through so much physical activity? In the sections that follow, we will try and understand something more about this form of exercise and learn about the varied benefits and bad effects that it has on the body. Continue reading for more information on the same.

Positive Effects

Strenuous exercises are those that involve heavy cardiovascular exercises as well as aerobic exercises. These get the heart pumping (increase the heart rate) instantly, and peak it at a 80-85 percent of maximum heart rate. When the heart rate increases thus, it causes several positive changes in the body and its varied functions as well. What kind of exercises do strenuous activities involve? These could be any of the high intensity cardio workouts which include swimming, sprinting, running, sports activities, weightlifting, and others.

Let us now see what the advantages of these exercises are.

Body Functions
An increase in the heart rate will lead to several changes in the body. Basically, an increase in heart rate means that the heart needs more oxygen, and for that to happen, the blood circulation improves and causes the blood to rush to the heart and other body parts carrying with it more oxygen. Therefore, all the other systems in the body, like the respiratory system and the nervous system work hard as well because blood is being pumped rapidly through them. Similarly, all the other bodily functions like the heart health, liver, and digestive system also work better.

Fit Body
Strenuous exercising makes all the muscles in the body work harder so that muscles can be built. This also leads to automatically burning off calories and fat cells and thereby causes a dual effect to take place. That of building muscles and losing fat, and therefore leading to a fitter body.

Skin Care
These form of exercises lead to the blood being circulated faster throughout the body. With that happening, the varied organs in the body get the advantage and work better, therefore the toxins that are accumulated get cleansed. Another reason for why this happens is because it leads to sweating and with sweating the toxins and waste products are flushed out. This results in excellent skin and hair, and prevention of diseases and skin problems like acne and eczema, among others.

Mental Health
It is not merely the physical body that strenuous exercises benefit, they also help in promoting great mental health as well. And thus there are psychological benefits to look into. Exercises release certain chemicals in the body like dopamine etc which help to keep the body calm and take away the stress and other negative factors like anger and anxiety. Therefore, a person becomes calmer and the harmful toxins are gotten rid of. These then help in keeping the person more fit―both mentally and physically.

Points to Remember

Too much of something is never good, they say. If everything is done in the right way and in the correct limits, the benefits that it lends will be much more effective. Does the same rule apply to exercises as well? Yes, it does. It has been seen that moderate exercises done over a longer period of time help a person achieve the same benefits that strenuous exercises do. In fact, there are several benefits of regular exercises as well.

If these exercises are not done under proper training or without taking the proper precautions (like warming up) or are done in spite of having heart conditions and similar ailments, then there are chances that the exercises will do more harm than good for a person.

It has also been suggested that strenuous exercise when done during pregnancy should not be newly introduced in the exercise routine. This means that if the woman is not already used to doing heavy exercises at the time of her pregnancy, then she should not do them at all. This is because it can harm the baby. Similarly, a woman who is menstruating should not do these heavy exercises because the body is weak and needs rest. There could be instances of spotting after strenuous exercising if these points are not adhered to.

All in all, while strenuous exercises lend to many benefits which are clearly seen, it has to be also kept in mind that there have to be certain precautions taken before doing these exercises. The reason being that they are intense and make a lot of demands on the body. Do them right and you'll benefit much more due to them.