A good first step in planning your routine is to ask yourself “what are my goals?” For instance, do you want to lose weight, strengthen your muscles or bones, become more flexible—or all of these? Is keeping your heart healthy the priority? Looking at why you want to exercise can help you create a workout that will work for you.
For example, if cardiovascular fitness is what you’re after, exercise that helps the heart and lungs is key. Try brisk walking, running, swimming, or bicycling.
If you’d like to shed a few pounds, brisk walking helps with that, too. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, brisk walking and other moderate physical activities can help women lose weight and keep it off just as well as more intense exercises, such as running. The key, it seems, is to work out at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Plus, some research suggests that moderate exercisers are more likely than vigorous exercisers to continue working out in the long term.
To build bones, choose weight-bearing activities. These include:
- Stair climbing.
- Jumping rope.
- Weight lifting.
An added bonus: If you choose to lift weights, you’ll be strengthening your bones and your muscles.
Need flexibility? Exercises that lengthen the muscles and encourage joints and muscles to work through their full range of motion are the ticket. Try swimming, water aerobics, or yoga.
If you’re younger than age 35 and in good health, it’s probably safe to start exercising. Those older than age 35 who’ve been inactive for several years should check with a doctor first. Also get a doctor’s approval if you have heart disease, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, or any other chronic health condition, no matter what your age.
Experts at the Care New England Wellness Center include registered dietitians and exercise physiologists who can help you achieve long-term results.To schedule an appointment, call (401) 732-3066 today.