Exercise Program

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Whenever you start an exercise program, you need to develop a system that will help you get the best results possible and make it easier to stick to your routine. There are various methodologies, but we are interested in developing overall heart health and well being, we are not looking into bodybuilding methods or ways of becoming an Olympic athlete.

Before starting your program, it is advised that you give serious thought to 3 key factors: Frequency, Intensity and Time. These factors when understood, will greatly help you achieve your objectives.

The right exercise program for you starts here

Frequency
Very few people overtrain when starting an exercise program based on cardio fitness, therefore it is generally safe to train as often as possible. However, in order to obtain a conditioning effect, it will be necessary to train at least three times a week. If you have weak joints walking or elliptical trainers, such as the Smooth CE Elliptical Trainer are perfect, as you use low impact movements that wont harm your joints as jogging might. With low impact workouts you can easily exercise 5 or 6 times a week, whereas higher impact training, such as jogging or aerobic dancing will cause much more muscle fatigue and rest periods between sessions is advised.

Intensity
In order to get the most out of your efforts, it is important that you calibrate your intensity to the correct levels. This is achieved when your body is working hard enough to burn fat and build muscle, but not hard enough to become anaerobic.

A good way of measuring your intensity is your heart rate. Determining a target exercise heart rate for safe and effective aerobic exercise is an accepted method for measuring exercise intensity. There is a very simple formula that will help you find your maximum heart rate (MHR)

220 minus Age = Maximum Heart Rate per Minute (MHR)

Example: A 45 year old male or female
220 minus 45 = 175 beats per minute.

Depending on your level of fitness, medical condition and age, you will want to work in the ranges of 50% to 85% of your MHR for approximately 30 minutes. For example:

A 45 year old male or female
Target Heart Rate: 175 x 0.50 = 88 beats per minute
Target Heart Rate: 175 x 0.85 = 149 beats per minute

Range: 88 (50%) to 149 (85%) beats per minute.

Some modern exercise equipment is able to measure your heart rate, or you can measure your pulse. Find your carotide (neck) pulse – usually right under your jaw under your ear – measure for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. After some practice you will be able to measure your pulse without interrupting your routine.

Time
The amount of time each workout takes depends on the amount of time needed within your target heart rate to reach a level of desired fitness. This is generally accepted as being at least 30 minutes 5 or 6 times a week, or at least a minimum of 3 times. Some studies have shown that in order to reach cardiovascular benefits, however most people will need to do more as usually they also wish to loose unwanted weight. You should also set aside 5 minutes for slowly warming up to your target heart rate and about the same amount of time for cooling down afterwards.

If you do not have the time on a particular day to set aside at least 30 minutes for your exercise program, by all means divide it up into two sessions. Perhaps you could use a Smooth CE Elliptical Trainer for 15 –20 minutes in the morning an take a nice brisk walk for the remaining 15-20 minutes in the evening. An exercise program does not have to be a prison sentence. Enjoy it and include several types of exercises, your heart will thank you and you’ll look and feel much better.

The important thing with any exercise program: Stick with it!

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