What is the best exercise plan for me? — Follow the “workout” with a fitness plan that “fits” you If exercise is so good for us, why do we find it so difficult to exercise regularly? It was not always like this. In elementary school, you probably could not wait for recess. It was a time to walk, run, jump and be out there. You were exercising and enjoying every minute of it. Now it’s more of a chore. But it does not have to be this way if you focus on activities that you like and a routine tailored to your needs.

Designing Your Fitness Plan
So how do you create this exercise routine? Find a mix of activities that you enjoy and a schedule that you can keep in the long run. Start gradually, set realistic goals and reward yourself for accomplishments along the way. In short, your fitness plan should be your recreation without the bell.

Many well-established research supports the benefits of aerobic and strength training as well as balance training for older adults. Flexibility and relaxation exercises are also important components of a nice and effective fitness plan.

Aerobic exercise
Often called cardio or endurance activities, aerobic activities are great for burning calories and losing unwanted fat. They consist of activities that require large muscles to contract and relax over and over: think about walking, biking, running, and swimming, for example. This temporarily increases heart rate and breathing, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles and adjust your cardiovascular endurance. These are activities that are associated with lower risk for many diseases and longer life span. Do aerobic workouts the centerpiece of your fitness program, since most of the research on benefits revolves around cardiovascular activity.

how much time
Current guidelines for physical activity recommend accumulating a weekly total of at least two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity, or an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. (Note: if you prefer a blend, 10 minutes of vigorous activity is equal to approximately 20 minutes of moderate activity). Raise your weekly goal to five hours of moderate activity, or two and a half hours of vigorous activity, to gain additional benefits. A single exercise session should last at least 10 minutes.

How to start
Walking is generally safe for any age or level of fitness, and can be easily adjusted for a comfortable speed. It does not cause joint problems or increases heart rate to dangerous levels. Expanding a walking program is simple: add time, distance or hills to improve stamina. If you prefer another aerobic activity, feel free to replace it. Otherwise, follow these tips to get the best workout from your walks:

Find a safe place to walk. Quiet streets with sidewalks, park trails, athletic tracks at local schools or malls are often good choices.

Buy a good pair of shoes. Look for thick, flexible soles that cushion your feet and raise your heel about three-quarters of an inch above the sole. Choose shoes with “breathable” tops, such as nylon mesh.

Dress for comfort and safety. Wear lighter clothing than you would need if you were standing still. Light-colored clothing and a reflective waistcoat help drivers sense their presence.

Do a five minute warm up and cool down. Start with a slower rate for your heating. During your cooling, you could incorporate stretching, thus accomplishing two goals at the same time.

Good technical practice:

Walk at a fast and steady pace. Decelerate if you are out of breath to continue talking.
Keep your spine erect.
Keep your head up. Lift your chest and shoulders.
Point your fingers to the sides forward.
Let your arms sway vaguely to your sides. If you want to increase your speed, bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and swing your hands from waist to chest height.
Take long and easy steps, but do not strain yourself. To go faster, take quicker steps instead of longer.
Lean slightly slightly when walking faster or up hills.
Strength Training
Strength or endurance training, which typically employs equipment like weight machines, free weights and resistance bands or dumbbells, protects against bone loss and buys muscles. It also improves your body’s ratio of lean muscle mass to fat. This also deserves an important place in your exercise routine.

Technically, resistance training occurs whenever your muscles face a stronger counterweight than usual, such as pushing against a wall or lifting a dumbbell. Using progressively heavier weights or increasing stamina makes the muscles stronger. In addition to toning you, strength training provides the functional strength you need to do daily activities, carrying groceries, climbing stairs, getting out of a chair, running into the bus with ease.

How many
Current guidelines recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, thorax, abdomen, shoulders and arms) twice weekly or more. One set per session is effective, although two to three sets may be better. Repeat each exercise eight to 12 times. Your body needs at least 48 hours for recovery and repairs between strength training sessions.

How to start
These safe strength training tips will help you get the most out of your workouts:

Plan to heat and cool for five to 10 minutes. Walking is a good way to warm up; Stretching is an excellent way to cool.
Focus on shape, not weight. Align your body properly and move gently through each exercise. Poor form can cause injuries and slow gains. Many experts suggest starting with no weight, or very light weight, when learning a strength training routine. Concentrate on slow and gentle lifts and equally controlled descents when isolating a muscle group. You isolate the muscles by holding your body in a specific position while consciously contracting and releasing certain muscles.
Time. Time helps you maintain control instead of decreasing strength gains through momentum. For example, count to three as you lower one dumbbell, hold, then count to three as you lift it to the home position.
Breathe. Blood pressure increases even more if you hold your breath while performing strength exercises. Exhale while working against resistance, lifting, pushing or pulling; inhale as you release.
Practice regularly. Working all the major muscles of your body two to three times a week is ideal. You can choose to do a full body strength exercise two or three times a week, or you can choose to break your strength workout on upper and lower body components. In this case, make sure that you run each of these components two or three times a week.
Give your muscles time. Strenuous exercise as strength training causes small tears in the muscle tissues. These tears are not harmful, but they are important: the muscles get stronger as the tears come together. Always allow at least 48 hours between sessions for muscle recovery. So if you do a full body strength workout on Monday, wait until at least Wednesday to repeat it. In this case, it may be easier to do aerobic exercises in the days between strength training. If you are doing a partial body strength session, however, you can do upper body exercises on Monday, lower body exercises on Tuesday, upper body exercises on Wednesday, lower body exercises on Thursday, etc.,
Balance Exercises
Our sense of balance usually worsens as we age. It may be further compromised by medical conditions such as neuropathy (a complication of diabetes) and certain chemotherapy drugs and other medications; uncorrected vision problems; or lack of flexibility. Bad balance usually leads to falls, which can cause head injuries and disabling injuries temporarily or permanently in the bones and nervous system . Hip fractures, in particular, can lead to serious health complications and may impair independence.

Evidence suggests that older adults at risk for falls benefit from a combination of walking, strength training, and balance-enhancing activities such as tai chi, yoga, and Pilates. Even walking on uneven surfaces, such as rocks or hiking trails, helps to improve balance over time.

how much time
Older adults at risk for falls should receive 30 minutes of balance training and muscle strengthening exercises three times a week, plus at least 30 minutes of walking activities twice or more weekly. Consider adding the jump-to-foot walk and single-leg position to your warm-ups and including other balance-boosting exercises in your strength-training program.

How to start
Try to work these exercises on your strength training routine — three times a week or even daily — to increase balance:

Straight foot walk. Position the heel right in front of the opposing toes each time you take a step. The heel and feet should touch as you walk forward by eight to 12 steps. If necessary, stabilize by placing a hand on a counter while walking. Then work to do the exercise without support. Repeat two to four times.
Single leg position. Stay on one foot for up to 30 seconds. Put your feet in and stand firm, then repeat on the opposite leg. Perform two to four times on each leg. If necessary, hold the back of a chair or counter. Then work to do the exercise without support.
Flexibility exercises
Flexibility exercises like stretching, yoga, and Pilates smoothly reverse the shortening and tightening of muscles that typically occur with disuse and age. Shorter and stricter muscle fibers can make you vulnerable to injury and contribute to back pain and balance problems.

Exercises that often isolate and stretch elastic fibers that surround muscles and tendons help neutralize this. A well stretched muscle more easily reaches its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance: imagine an easier and less restricted golf swing or a tennis service and functional skills such as reach, bending or curl during daily tasks.

At the same time, experts prescribe stretching before exercise to help prevent injuries, but more recent research suggests this does little. (Instead, experts recommend starting your exercise with a warm-up, such as a light walk or a specific sport routine, such as serving some tennis balls and practicing ground movements before a match.) Stretch when muscles are warm and flexible. , before stretching, walk for five to 10 minutes, dance to some songs or take a hot shower. Or, better yet, do your flexibility exercises as your post-workout cooling. Stretching between exercises can be good as well, and possibly helps increase flexibility.

To achieve lasting effects, strain yourself daily or at least several times a week. This is easier than you think. Activities like yoga and Pilates combine stretching and relaxing and also improve balance, a wonderful combination.

How many
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that older adults do flexibility exercises on the same days as aerobic or strength activities, or at least twice a week.

How to start
The basic passages will help you become more flexible. The more times you stretch, the more flexibility you become. Follow these safety tips.

Check with your doctor. If you have joint disease or arthritis, or if you have had a joint replacement, check with your doctor before beginning stretching exercises.
Heat first. Hot muscles are more flexible. Warm up for five to 10 minutes first, or save stretching for your cooling routine after exercise.
Stretch all muscle groups. As with strength training, stretching should include all muscle groups.
There are no jumps. Never jump as you reach out. This triggers a hiring reflex that really tightens the muscle you are trying to loosen up.
Feel a slight tension only. Extend the muscle to the point where you feel a slight tension and hold that position. You should never feel pain.
Breathe. Breathe easily through the nose while stretching.
Hold and repeat. The best results come from holding the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeating each stretch four times.

Relaxation exercises
Relaxation exercises are not, strictly speaking, a component of most fitness programs. However, reducing stress improves quality of life and health. Therefore, consider sculpting time for activities that promote calm and relaxation, such as mindfulness or meditation. Or simply relax in the rhythmic movements of aerobic exercise such as walking, running and swimming.

Stretching also releases muscle and promotes a sense of tranquility. And some disciplines like Pilates, yoga and tai chi combine tension-melting movements with mental focus and meditation. By improving strength, flexibility and balance, professionals relieve stress, relieve pain, and gain a general sense of well-being.

how much time
Relaxation exercises are not a necessary part of your fitness routine, and current guidelines do not include them. But many people think they are worth it. If you are willing to try, have a daily dose.

How to start
A variety of activities can leave you feeling more relaxed and peaceful. Some popular options include yoga, tai chi and meditation. Or try out the exercise of consciousness described here to get you started.

Mindfulness is a relaxation technique that encourages you to slow down a mind and embrace every moment as it unfolds. Mixed with a simple and repetitive exercise like walking, running or swimming, it facilitates stress wonderfully. By fully engaging all of your senses, mindfulness teaches you to focus attention on what is happening in the present and accept it without judgment. This increases your appreciation of simple everyday experiences. To treat your body and mind for a conscious walk, try the following:

Concentrate on the breath. As you walk, you first narrow your concentration by focusing on one aspect of your breathing: the sensations of air flowing into your nostrils and out of your mouth, your belly growing as you inhale and fall as you breathe out. Try counting from one to five as you inhale, then five to one as you breathe out. Do this for a few minutes.
Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells around you. Then begin to broaden your focus. As you continue to breathe in a measured way, open your senses to become aware of sounds, smells, and sensations. Enjoy the rhythmic rhythm of each foot reaching the floor and the rustle of clothes rubbing lightly against each other. Feel the touch of a cool or warm breeze against your face, watch the shadows as you move, or soak in the sun that is relaxing. Listen to natural sounds even when walking in city blocks: the chirp of crickets, bird songs, rustling leaves, wind blowing. By attuning your breathing, your body, and your surroundings, you will notice much more than these examples.
Continue to breathe deeply. Throughout your walk, continue to breathe slowly and deeply while remaining fully conscious and staying in the moment.
Try not to rush. Proceed slowly and deliberately, engaging your senses fully to savor all sensations. If your mind starts to run, turn your focus to your breathing. Then expand your awareness again. Consider how you feel physically and psychologically before, during, and after the walk.
Questions to ask yourself
Now that you know the components of an exercise program, it’s time to work out one. The successful exercise program is a good fit for you. To give yourself the best chances of drilling with exercise, stack the deck in your favor by considering the following points before you begin.

What is your current level of fitness? If you’ve been sedentary for a while, it’s unreal, not to mention dangerous, to try a five-kilometer run for the first time. Weekend warriors often end up with sore muscles, or worse. An injury is one of the quickest ways to sabotage any exercise program. Over time, work up to higher levels of intensity as you become more appropriate. Generally, moderate exercise is safe for everyone. If you have had previous injuries or suffer from a chronic illness, talk to your doctor about your physical limitations and get advice on a well-planned exercise plan tailored to your needs.

What are your exercise goals? Your program should include aerobic and strength training exercises, but you can focus on a specific area, depending on your goals. If you want to lose weight, do aerobic activities with calorie burning. If flexibility and balance are your main concerns, spend more time practicing tai chi or yoga.

What would you like to do? If you hate running, you will not be able to keep a walking program, no matter how good it is for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy swimming or dancing, you may find it easier to ill with an exercise program built around these activities. Do not expect to change your likes and dislikes, especially when you start.

What kind of setup works for you? Do you have easy access to a swimming pool? Otherwise, swimming is probably not a good choice. Likewise, if you live in a particularly hot or cold climate, certain outdoor activities may not be sustainable. On the other hand, if there is a network of bike and jogging trails near your office, a workout routine for lunch may just be the ticket. And if your city has good sidewalks, try walking to do your routine: shopping, sending a letter or picking up books from the library.

Do you enjoy exercising alone or with others? Many people find the solitude of swimming or running ideal for contemplation. Others enjoy the motivation and support of a group aerobics class or the company of a walking companion.

How much money do you want to spend? Weigh the expense against other factors such as the ability to exercise indoors or participate in a particular activity. Many exercise options are available at a variety of prices. You can get excellent exercises with virtually no money walking, running or walking. Check out bicycle stores and sports resale stores for bargains on used equipment. A set of cheap home bars can produce the same results as a tuition in the gym. However, some people feel that the money they spend for the privileges of the gym is a motivating factor. Only you know what works best, although it may take some time with tests and errors to figure out.

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Author's Bio: 

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