Exercise has shared the limelight with diet for the past few decades. Every fitness expert has their own exercise regime or equipment to enhance the physical body, including everything from yoga, Pilates, or bare to equipment like spin bikes, treadmills, and resistance equipment that concentrates on specific body parts. Exercise programs run the gamut from running five miles daily to using the stairs instead of the escalator. Any or all of these exercise programs might be right for you, but finding out what is right for you and what your body can tolerate is very important.
Keeping the body agile, strong, and hardy is paramount to overall good health. You need exercise. No matter what your physical condition, you need to move those parts that move! Properly executed exercise benefits both young and mature bodies. At any age, people who exercise regularly enjoy increased mobility and muscle tone, improved cardiovascular function, and improved balance, yet exercise alone does not guarantee good health.
For any exercise program to be truly effective in improving your health, it must be a whole-body exercise that integrates and balances the body.
Assuming you are indeed healthy enough to exercise (and that might not be as obvious an answer as you might think!), sessions should be divided into three parts. For example, if your exercise of choice is walking (and that’s a good one!), begin your program slowly. Stretch out your muscles before you start. After you warm up and become limber, walk as fast as possible to get your heart rate up to about 120 beats per minute. You will know if you can sustain this pace because your body will give you plenty of clues about handling stress. If you are gasping for air or can feel your heart pounding, slow down or stop. Walking more moderately after your breath and your heartbeat return to normal. Continue as long as you can talk and smile as you walk. Your goal should be to walk for 15 minutes at 120 paces per minute with a heart rate of 120 beats per minute. You can then slow down for about five additional minutes as a cool-down. Exercise should make you feel good, both physically and mentally. How you feel about the exercise you do significantly enhances or diminishes the overall benefits you derive from your efforts. The key to a healthy exercise plan is, first, to take action; second, to enjoy what you do; and third, to accomplish a goal of fitness that you desire.