Physical activity does not need to be strenuous to be beneficial. Being physically active can reduce your risk of chronic illness, improve your physical and psychological well-being and help you maintain a healthy body weight. It can also help you forget about the daily stresses, worries and anxieties that promote depression, increase blood pressure and decrease immune function.
Want more energy? Exercise! Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to promote better health. High levels of physical activity are defined as three intense 20-minute workouts per week.
For intense workouts and ideal fat burning sessions, stay within your target training zone—50-75 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR); see chart below. While in your target training zone you should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for breath.
- Start a cardio activity program. Dedicate 10–20 minutes 2–4 times a week.
- After 3–4 weeks, progress to 30–60 minutes of aerobic activity, 4–5 times a week.
- If you’re short on time, breakup your aerobic activity into 15 minutes segments.
- Check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous physical activity.
Strength Training Tips
Building lean muscle tissue (muscle mass) helps your body to burn more calories and each extra pound of muscle helps to burn an extra 100 calories daily.
- Warm up for 10–15 minutes with stretching and light cardio exercise.
- Concentrate on form.
- Train each muscle group once or twice a week.
- Maximize your training efforts by giving your body new challenges.
- Train with a partner.
- To prevent boredom, frequently vary your workout routine.
- Avoid over training.
- Remember it takes time to see results—be patient!