It Pays to Play When You Go Aerobic

Aerobic exercise is an unbeatable place to begin if you want to start a healthy new lifestyle. Within a month, you should see and feel measurable results. It should also help improve your health, stamina, mood, and energy.

If the term “exercise” is off-putting, select an aerobic activity that you will look forward to doing. Aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or riding a bike can be an enjoyable time in nature. You could walk on a treadmill while enjoying music or TV. And if that’s still too much like “exercise,” be creative. You could play an intense game of solo Ping-Pong, dribble and shoot baskets, or jump rope.  

Choose An Activity That Fits Your Life

Riding a bicycle, running, swimming, and brisk walking are all great aerobic activities. But you can make other parts of your daily routine into aerobic sessions too. That will solve the problem of finding time to exercise.

So, why not power it up a bit when you are mowing the lawn or cleaning your house? Take advantage of an aerobic opportunity wherever it arises. If you are working up a sweat and keep moving, you can accomplish your fitness goal whether you are waxing the car or running on the treadmill.

How Much, How Hard?

The goal is to keep active until your heart rate and blood flow increase throughout your body and you break a sweat. 

Continue your activity for at least 20 minutes at minimum. The American Academy of Sports Medicine and most health organizations recommend 30 minutes as a minimum to accumulate 150 minutes a week.

Experts suggest that the pulse be raised to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. The rule of thumb for finding your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. Thus if you are 50, your maximum is 170. Multiply that by 0.7, and that’s your target pulse for aerobic exercise.

If you want to skip the math, here’s a chart for some sample ages, calculated maximum heart rates, and 70% targets for a good aerobic workout:

Age         Max HR                70% Max

30                   190                             133

35                   185                             130

40                   180                             126

45                   175                             122

50                   170                             119

55                   165                             115

60                   160                             112

65                   155                             108

70                   150                             105

75                   145                             101

80                   140                             98

There is some disagreement on how much good you can get from shorter sessions. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 to 7 days a week to maintain a healthy heart, but says that three 10-minute walks will count as a “30-minute” session.

If you do choose shorter sessions, make sure you keep your heart rate in your aerobic zone for the entire time.

Benefits Add Up

With regular aerobic exercise, you may find that, as your heart and lungs strengthen, the time it takes for your muscles to repair themselves will get shorter. With increased oxygen reaching the muscles, your body's ability to continue exercising will get easier. In addition, your endurance will get longer.

The advantages do not end there. Aside from improved energy and endurance, the physical changes will encourage you to continue. 

 

  • Aids sleep
  • Assists in weight management and a slimmer waistline
  • Boosts mood and reduces anxiety
  • Decreases resting heart rate
  • Decreases risk of heart disease
  • Ensures stronger bones
  • It helps to better control blood sugar
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Increases HDL or "good" cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure and risk of hypertension
  • Lowers stress levels and promotes a better mood
  • Promotes better posture
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Improve oxygen usage efficiency

Aerobic exercise will have a beneficial impact on almost every aspect of your life. This includes increasing the duration of your life.

All the benefits in the list above are good reasons to take it up. But your improved mood, energy and sense of accomplishment count a lot towards keeping you going.

Get started… If 30 minutes is daunting, reach for 10 and work your way up. Then do it again and again. Before you know it, aerobic exercise will be one of your good habits.

 

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