Our body is designed to be used, therefore exercise is vitally important, but getting proper exercise is not always as easy as it sounds. In my dad’s chiropractic practice he treats a lot of people that have hurt themselves exercising, but exercise is something we’re supposed to be dong to help our health, not create a health problem. So the real key is PROPER exercise.
There are three basic components to proper exercise: endurance, flexibility and strength. Endurance is getting your heart rate elevated to your target rate for 15-20 minutes 3-4 days a week. Flexibility is putting the joint of the body through a full range of motion and strength is having SOME résistance during range of motion to help maintain muscle tone.
There is not one standard, cookie cutter exercise program that is best for all people. Your exercise program should be tailored to your needs and current fitness level. Step #1 is to have a complete physical by your doctor. This will determine if you having any issues that might prevent you from certain types of exercise and it will give you a baseline for your vitals and blood levels for cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.
If you have not been exercising for awhile or maybe never, the next step is to start slow with some basic cardio or endurance, low impact exercising like walking, biking or pool exercises. You want to do an exercise that will elevate your heart rate to your target rate. Your target rate can be calculated by determining your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) which is 220 – your age. Your target rate is 55-85% of your MHR. If you haven’t exercised in a long time take 55% of your MHR. If your in decent shape or have a fairly active lifestyle go more towards the 85% of MHR. For example if your 60 yrs old and haven’t exercised in yrs; 220 – 60 = 160 x .6 = 96 is your target heart rate (THR). Start slow and schedule 15-20 min 3-4 days per wk. and maintain that schedule for at least two weeks. Gradually increase your time to 20-30 over the next 4-6 wks.
Getting moving is the first step to a vibrant lifestyle. I’ll talk more about proper exercise in future posts. Be consistent and don’t lose heart! But most of all….GET STARTED!!