Thanks for your interest in fitness. Health is a priceless gift. Without it we could not live, work, play, laugh, or love. This report gives simple steps for optimizing fitness, no matter what condition you’re in. Following are a few principles endorsed by the American Council on Exercise. The multiple benefits of exercise to mind and body are well worth the time investment. The following assumes there are no injuries or medical conditions that would preclude normal exertion.
- Do exercises that involve continuous, rhythmic action of large muscle groups. (Walking tops the popularity list because it is simple for any age group and can be incorporated into busy time schedules.)
- To increase endurance, aerobic exercising should be done at least three times per week for an average duration of 20-30 minutes. (The importance of alternating days increases with heightened duration and intensity of exercise.)
- Stretching the calf, and thigh muscles, hip flexors, and the Achilles tendon, is important for walkers and joggers. For more information about the importance of warm-ups, cool-downs and stretching, see key tips.
- Listen to your body. If you cannot carry on comfortable conversation, your heart rate is probably too high. (Yet to get a training effect you shouldn’t be able to sing Ave Maria!) There are formulas to estimate your age-appropriate heart rate.
- Begin where you are. Even 5 to 10 minutes of some exercise is better than none. Increase duration gradually. Duration should be increased before intensity. (Walking for twice as long as jogging has approximately the same training effect.)
- Last but not least HAVE FUN! You will embrace what you enjoy, while reaping multiple benefits.
Yours for health of body, mind, and spirit.