Find the Right Exercise to Match Your Personality
A program that fits your lifestyle, including activities you love, so you can stick with it for a long time.
A well-rounded program with aerobic, strength training, and balance exercises.
A program that starts with your current level of fitness and takes into account any previous injuries or current limitations.
A program that keeps your routines fresh and keeps you motivated.
Designing your fitness plan
If exercise is so good for us then why do we find it so hard to exercise regularly? It wasn’t always that way. In grade school, you probably couldn’t wait for recess. It was a time to walk, run, jump, and be outside. You were exercising and enjoying every minute of it. Now it’s more of a chore. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you focus on activities you enjoy and a routine that’s tailored to your needs.
So how do you create such an exercise routine? Find a blend of activities you enjoy and a schedule you can stick with over the long haul. Start out gradually, set realistic goals, and reward yourself for accomplishments along the way. In short, your fitness plan should give you recess without the bell.
Plentiful and well-established science supports the benefits of aerobic and strength training, as well as balance training for older adults. Flexibility and relaxation exercises are also important components of an enjoyable and effective fitness plan.
Often called cardio or endurance activities, aerobic activities are great for burning calories and paring down unwanted fat. They consist of activities that require large muscles to repeatedly contract and relax: think of walking, biking, running, and swimming, for example. This temporarily boosts your heart rate and breathing, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles and tuning up cardiovascular endurance. These are activities that are associated with lower risk for many diseases and lengthening lifespan. Make aerobic exercise the centerpiece of your fitness program, since the bulk of research on disease-quelling benefits of exercise revolves around cardiovascular activity.
Current guidelines for physical activity recommend accumulating a weekly total of at least two–and–a–half hours of moderate aerobic activity, or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. (Note: If you prefer a mix, 10 minutes of vigorous activity equals roughly 20 minutes of moderate activity.) Raising your weekly goal to five hours of moderate activity, or two–and–a–half hours of vigorous activity, nets additional health benefits. A single exercise session should last at least 10 minutes.
Walking is usually safe for any age or level of fitness, and can easily be adjusted to a comfortable speed. It doesn’t jar joints or raise your heart rate to dangerous levels. Expanding a walking program is simple—add time, distance, or hills to improve endurance. If you prefer another aerobic activity, though, feel free to substitute it. Otherwise, follow these tips to get the best workout from your walks:
Find a safe place to walk. Quiet streets with sidewalks, park trails, athletic tracks at local schools, or shopping malls are often good choices.
Buy a good pair of shoes. Look for thick, flexible soles that cushion your feet and elevate your heel one-half to three-quarters of an inch above the sole. Choose shoes with “breathable” uppers, such as nylon mesh.
Dress for comfort and safety. Wear lighter clothes than you’d need if standing still. Dress in layers so you can peel off garments if you get hot. Light-colored clothes and a reflective vest help drivers notice you.
Do a five-minute warm-up and cool-down. Start off at a slower pace for your warm-up. During your cool-down, you could incorporate stretching, thus accomplishing two goals at once.
Practice good technique:
Walk at a brisk, steady pace. Slow down if you’re too breathless to carry on a conversation.
Keep your back straight.
Hold your head up. Lift your chest and shoulders.
Point your toes straight ahead.
Let your arms swing loosely at your sides. If you want to boost your speed, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and swing your hands from waist to chest height.
Land on your heel, then roll forward onto the ball of your foot, pushing off from your toes.
Take long, easy strides, but don’t strain. To go faster, take quicker steps instead of longer ones.
Lean forward slightly when walking faster or going up hills. Read More