Basically the recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise per week. Intense aerobic might be some of those ones like the PBX and others while moderate might be a normal aerobics workout. These can be broken up and spread across the week such as 30 mins five days a week or 75 minutes twice a week for moderate or 25 minute three times a week. It is based on you and your schedule.
Aerobic exercise is going to make your heart and lungs work harder, so you are burning calories while burning fat off and helping your heart. Think of taking a good long walk, ride a bike, take a nice run around the neighborhood, or head to the swimming pool. If none of those appeal to you, think about taking a dance class, Zumba, or other activity but what ever you choose, aim for at least 15 minutes for each session.
They also recommend that you work in two or more strength training sessions each week but it is important to have a break of at least 48 hours between the sessions so your muscles have a chance to recover. Strength training usually involves a machine, free weights, or bands and helps prevent bone loss while building muscles. This is an extremely important part of your exercise routine because we start loosing strength as we age and we want to make sure we stay strong.
Although they say one set of exercises is effective, they say you should actually do two to three repetitions of the exercise to get the best results. When you begin your strength training, work on your form rather than the amount of weight so you get the best results. If you are just starting out you can do it with a small can in each hand if you don't have a light weight. Think about shifting out strength or resistance exercises so you might do weights one day, kettle ball another, and possibly the resistance band for the third day. You don't want to get used to the same exercise day after day.
Finally, throw in some balance exercises, 30 minutes long, one to two days a week. This is because our sense of balance tends to decline as we age so we need to practice balancing. It could be via yoga, tai chi, or pilates. If your balance isn't that good, look for a class that allows you to hold on to a chair or bar to help you. As you get better at balance, you won't need to use a chair. If you have time, add in a couple of flexibility exercises to help keep your muscles stretched.
If you do not have access to classes or are not ready to return, you can pick up a couple of weights, several different DVD's so you can have a complete workout at home. If you prefer, search Youtube.com for videos for each component so you have a balanced workout. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. have a great day.
Last thing, I'd like to apologize for this column not being published this past Monday when it should have been but I ended up with some significant internet issues so it didn't happen. It's always good the coffee shop has free internet. I should be back to normal I hope but who knows.