If you are new to exercise or It has been quite some time since you have been active a great place to start is walking. Walking has been proven to:
- Reduce pain
- Add an additional 3 to 7 years to your life
- Improve sleep
- Improve circulation
- Improve mood
- Help to maintain or reduce weight.
A recent study from New Mexico Highlands University found that the impact of your foot striking the ground triggers increased blood flow to the brain, thus helping to clear your thought process and decrease chances for dementia or Alzheimer’s.
If you’re new to exercise or have not exercised in several years just start walking at a comfortable pace, try walking for 10-20 minutes and as you adjust you can increase your pace and distance. Once you’ve increased your pace and distance you can turn it into a high-intensity workout by adding hills or with race walking.
You can find a video for proper walking here
Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting, Pilates, yoga and Barre are important because they help counteract muscle loss associated with aging. Muscle tissue weighs more then fat and burns more calories than fat making muscle mass an important factor in weight loss. Muscle also takes up less space then fat!
Weight training can help you burn fat, and build muscle. Pumping iron also has the power to make you smarter, boost your mood and reduce stress, tension and anxiety.
Getting Started With Strength Training
The world health organization recommended as strength training session two times a week. You can start with a cheap pair of free weights which will build muscle and strengthen bone at any age. Other muscle building tools are bands, or machines at the gym. You can also use your own body weight this type of strength training is found in Yoga , Callenetics, swimming and Barre works outs.
Click here for an excellent Barre workout video, and Pilates video
Aerobics and H.I.I.T
The American Heart Association recommends 3-5 days a week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise combined with two days of weight training.
Aerobic exercise (also known as cardio) improves fitness; by burning calories which aids with weight loss, it also makes your heart stronger by causing extra blood vessels to grow in the heart which is known as collateral circulation. Collateral circulation can aid with keeping your heart healthy if you have a family history of coronary artery disease. Aerobic exercise also has known benefits for emotional health. Aerobic exercise can help prevent or reduce the chance of developing some cancers, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
Walking, hiking, dancing, swimming, water aerobics, biking, climbing steps kick-boxing, all the cardio machines at the gum (treadmill, elliptical, bike, rower, stair-climber) are all examples of types of aerobic or cardio activities.
Not all aerobic exercise is created equal, so it is important to choose a form that meets your fitness level as well as your fitness goals. A recent study compared those who did steady-state aerobics for 30 minutes three times a week to those who did 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) three times a week. Both groups lost weight, but the HIIT group showed a 2 percent loss in body fat while GAINING muscle. The steady-state group lost only 0.3 percent of fat and LOST almost a pound of muscle.
What is Steady State Aerobic training?
Steady state aerobics (cardio) is when you perform an exercise at a steady intensity that is maintained for an extended period. So this might be something like 30 -60 minutes at a steady heart rate of 140-150 (dependent on your age).
- Steady state can be performed daily
- Is Better For Reducing Stress, burns more fat
- Will allow you to recover faster, allowing you to to stick with it longer
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training which is any form of activity that alternates higher intensity activity (such as 30-60 seconds almost all out) with periods of lower intensity activity. The rest interval can be passive (sit on your butt) or active (keep moving at a low intensity). A typical interval workout for fat loss might be a short warm-up followed by 5 repeats of 60 seconds near maximum intensity alternated with 60-90 seconds of very low intensity activity, followed by a cool down. Each HIIT session usually stays under 20 minutes, because it requires a lot of efforts from your body. Click here for 24 minute HIIT workout
- HIIT Should be performed no more than three times a week
- Is Better For Preserving Muscle Mass
- Decreases appetite and Improves metabolism