Here's what you need in order to better your body and your life:
Weightlifting: Lifting weights will not only help you invrease your muscle mass but will also help enhance the effects of your aerobic activity.. The muscles will continue to burn calories many hours after your exercise. In fact, doing 3 aerobic exercises and lifting weights 3 times per week is better than doing 6 aerobics per week. When beginning, remember to start slowly and do lighter weights that can be repeated 12 times. Do at least three of these sets per muscle group.
Aerobic Exercise: If you are not currently active, start slowly. Parents who are over 45 (or over 35 with a strong family history of early heart disease) should have an exercise stress test prior to starting. The most important investment is a heart rate monitor. You can pick one up for $50 - $75. It consists of a strap that goes around your chest and a watch to show the heart rate. It will even transmit the heart rate to most electronic machines in the gym. It is worth spending the extra couple of dollars for the electrolyte conducting gel to increase the accuracy. The heart rate monitor will ensure you are exercising hard enough to train your heart and muscles, but not so hard that you are using anaerobic energy. Keep in mind that your heart rate will naturally increase over the course of a steady workout since the muscles take time to warm up and build up lactic acid. As you may know I'm a big fan of Sole Treadmills. Running as I'm sure you also know is perhaps the most useful and most available physical activity. Affordable treadmill is f63 .
While any duration of exercise is helpful, you should try to do a minimum of 20 minutes. The type of aerobic exercise you choose is not as important as the intensity of your workout. Aerobics, cycling, running, rollerblading, swimming, rowing, full-court basketball, soccer and kickboxing classes are all good choices. You should try to pick something you enjoy doing so you will continue to exercise. Each has advantages and disadvantages in terms of its wear and tear on the body. Swimming has less impact on the joints, but there are overuse injuries and it is harder to monitor your target heart rate. Contrary to popular opinion, walking is not exercise (unless you can document that you are keeping your heart rate in your target zone). Doubles tennis and half-court basketball may not be played hard enough to count as an aerobic exercise, but let the heart rate you maintain while playing be the ultimate judge. You can still do non-aerobic sports you enjoy in addition to your aerobic workouts.
Stretching: Stretch all of the appropriate muscle groups well before and after exercise. Pay special attention to the hamstrings and quads (your thigh muscles), the calves, the shins and your back muscles. Stretch until you start to feel tension in the muscle and hold the stretch. Do not overstretch. Always begin and end your exercise with a couple of minutes of light activity (warm-up and cool-down).
Breathing: Breathing during exercise is very important. Taking slower deeper breaths during aerobic activity will enhance oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange better than panting. When you are weightlifting, breathe out when lifting the weight and breathe in when lowering the weight. Do not hold your breath as this will elevate your blood pressure.
Fluids: Thirst is a sign of dehydration. It is important to take small quantities of water before you become thirsty. Maintaining hydration will enhance your exercise. For very prolonged, intensive exercise, you may need to take an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade.
Warning signs: If you have any of the following symptoms, stop exercising.
• Chest pain
• Dizziness or passing out during exercise
• Shortness of Breath (Trouble breathing in or breathing out or trouble catching your
breath.) Note: You body is supposed to breath deeper and faster during exercise)
• Pain (You will feel a burn as you work out, but I mean a sharp pain or a pain that is increasing in
intensity signals possible damage to the bone, muscle, tendon or joint ).