How Much Exercise

So How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Schwinn 860 Treadmill
To accomplish the best and quickest benefits of exercise you don’t want to risk hurting yourself by going too fast. Start slow and work up. For the best overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week. However, if you are  not ready to do this level of activity, you can begin by accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, five times or more a week.

If you have been inactive for a while, start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Starting at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

Moderate-intensity Activity

Moderate-intensity activities include some of the things you may already be doing during the day, such as house cleaning, washing your car or yard work. These activities can be done in short spurts such as 8 or 10 minutes at a time.  Individually, each activity does not have much of an effect on your health, but regularly accumulating 30 minutes of activity over the course of the day can result in substantial health benefits.

To become more active throughout your day, take advantage of any chance to get up and move around. Here are some things you can do. Take a short walk around the block. Rake the leaves. Play actively with the kids. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Mow the lawn. Park your car a little further away from your destination and walk the extra distance. The point is not to make physical activity an unwelcome chore, but have fun with the opportunities you have to be active.

Aerobic Activity

Aerobic activity is an important addition to moderate-intensity exercise. Aerobic exercise is extended activity that uses the large muscle groups while causing you to breathe heavy at a regular, even pace. Aerobic activities help make your heart stronger and more efficient. They also use more calories than other activities. Some examples of aerobic activities are aerobic dancing, basketball, brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, jumping rope, racket sports, rowing, skating, skiing, soccer and swimming.

Using Aerobic Equipment (i.e., treadmill, stationary bike)

Schwinn 240 Recumbent Bike
To get the most health benefits from using aerobic equipment, you should exercise at a level strenuous enough to raise your heart rate to your target zone.  Determining your target heart rate zone is fairly simple.

  • First find your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220.
  • Next multiply your (MHR) by 0.60 = lower end of the target heart rate zone.
  • Next multiply your (MHR) by 0.90 = upper end of the target heart rate zone.
  • These two numbers represent your target heart rate zone. You should strive to stay between these numbers during your workout.
An example calculation for a 40-year-old man is below:

  • 220 – 40 = 180 = (MHR)
  • 180 x 0.60 = 108 beats per minute
  • 180 x 0.90 = 162 beats per minute
  • Target heart rate zone = 108 to 162 beats per minute

Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise

Schwinn 460 Elliptical Trainer
Aerobic exercise improves bone calcium, improves blood high density cholesterol, increases hemoglobin, improves resistance to cold, decreases blood tri-glycerides, decreases blood pressure, decreases insulin requirement, increases glycogen storage, lessons conversion of sugar to fat, increases stroke volume of heart, decreases resting heart rate, increases oxygen to the brain, increases fat burning enzymes, decreases body fat, decreases stress, increases muscle mass, burns more calories, burns more fat calories, decreases load on the heart, decreases muscle dependence on sugar, decreases incidences of hypoglycemia and more.

Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Stretching and strengthening exercises such as weight training should also be a part of your physical activity program. In addition to using calories, these exercises strengthen your muscles and bones and help prevent injury. I have found that doing stretching and strengthening exercises has made physical activity at my secular job easier to handle and now I have pretty much eliminated my back pain. Having a well rounded exercise regime joined together with smart eating habits is so beneficial to having a happy and healthy life.

As someone now in my 50’s, I realize how important fitness and exercise is for my age group. I’ve learned a lot while researching for this post and I intend to add some aerobic exercises to my fitness regime. I hope this post is a help to you and your personal fitness routines as well. And remember, be good to yourself- Feel good for life….

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