Fitness is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. Exercise can help you lose or maintain your optimal weight, improve balance, coordination, flexibility, muscle mass, aerobic capacity and even bone density. It can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases like COPD and diabetes.
The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that healthy adults include AT LEAST 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength training a minimum of twice a week. I suggest that you also include core, balance and flexibility into your exercise program.
Before designing your personal fitness program, consider your fitness goals (lose weight, want to run a marathon, get stronger or just be healthier) and fitness likes and dislikes (hate running, but love swimming--like dancing, but not walking).
How do you get started?
- First choose the time of day that is most convenient for you to workout. That's usually early morning or late afternoon and evening for working people. Scheduling your workouts is the key to adhering to a fitness routine.
- Next schedule in that 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. (That's only 2 1/2 hours) That's walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. You will have to allow a few minutes for stretching after.
- You also should comply with the recommended minimum of two days of strength training. If you are only lifting weights twice a week you could do legs (the largest muscle group of the body), back and abdominals on one day, and the second day should include biceps, triceps, chest and shoulders.
- Take at least one day off between workouts and always warm up (at least 5 minutes) before strength training.
When you have completed the workout you need to stretch out. Some examples would be:
- Back Stretch over a ball
- Sitting on the floor with the legs straight out in front, try touching your toes
- Lie on your back and bring the knees to the chest (good for the lower back)
- Lie on your stomach and hold yourself up by leaning on the elbows(sphinx stretch). The sphinx is a lower back strengthener.
Many people start training because they want to lose weight and have a good body image. I have found that as people start to age, they become more interested in their health and maintaining their independence.
What motivates you to workout?
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