This morning was my first morning on our new elliptical. My days exercising outdoors in the evening are over, due to a lack of street lights and pavements. It's simply not safe. So we made an investment in our health and our fantastic machine arrived and is a beauty!
I started this morning, thinking this should be pretty easy, since I've been power-walking in fairly rough, outdoor terrain for 6 months now. Was I wrong. This machine takes no prisoners and after 20 minutes, I was sweating, breathing hard and had to stop. I chose a cardio program that exercises everything, including my arms.
I'm happy it's not just a pretty machine though. I want something that is going to give me a serious workout, for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. That's my plan. Over the next two weeks I'll ease up to 30 minutes, and work out Monday through Friday. This machine has many programs so I can concentrate on different areas and change things up a bit. I think I might be in love with it!
And on that note - today I came across some new government guidelines that exactly match the goal I set for myself : 2.5 hours per week, or 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week.
Many of us can't get to a gym, can't afford membership or can't afford a babysitter while they hit a gym, nor do they have the couple of hours a day they'd need to work out and get back and forth.
As busy as we all are, I think we can all set aside 30 minutes a day to exercise, or an hour every other day. And if you can do it at home, you can do it anytime- regardless of weather or road conditions, ie; no excuses acceptable!
Some of us workout a couple of hours a day, some just every other day, for less than an hour. We all differ, based on our needs, goals, capabilities, age, health and availability.
But exercise, nearly every day, will strengthen our bodies, help us lose or maintain weight, and feel a lot better in the process.
Here are some tips from the new guidelines.
• You don't have get all the activity at once. A walk for an hour three days a week works as well as, say, a 30-minute exercise class on weekdays or saving most of the activity for a two-hour Saturday bike ride.
• For aerobic activities, go at least 10 minutes at a time to build heart rate enough to count.
• You should be able to talk while doing moderate activities but not catch enough breath to sing. With vigorous activities, you can say only a few words without stopping to catch a breath.
• Children's daily hour should consist of mostly moderate or vigorous aerobic activity, such as skateboarding, bike riding, soccer, simple running.
• Three times a week, children and teens need to include muscle-strengthening activities -- sit-ups, tug-of-war -- and bone-strengthening activities, such as jumping rope or skipping.
• Adults should do muscle-strengthening activities -- push-ups, weight training, carrying heavy loads or heavy gardening -- at least two days a week.
• Older adults who are still physically able to follow the guidelines should do so, with an emphasis on activities that maintain or improve balance.
And let's not forget our kids, who are at high risk of excess weight gain and are generally lacking in exercise! Kids don't listen to a lot of what we advise, but they certainly tend to do what we do so setting a good example is key. If exercising is normal in a household, it'll set the tone for a kid's life - hopefully for a lifetime.
What do you think of these guidelines? Do you exercise? What works for you?
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