Aerobic exercise produces and sustains cardiovascular elevation
for 15 to 30 minutes, three to four times a week. For
fitness and stress management, 20 to 60 minutes of
aerobic exercise three to five times per week is recommended.
Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running,
swimming, in-line skating, biking, and cross-country skiing.
Tips for Beginning an Exercise Program
If you're 35 or older, or have
high blood pressure
, or other medical conditions,
you should seek your healthcare provider's approval before
beginning an exercise program.
Starting and sticking to a regular exercise program can be a
challenge. Here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a
fitness program dropout:
Find out what works for you and make it fun. What would be the
most enjoyable type of exercise for you? Do you enjoy competitive
sports? Walking with a friend? In-line skating? Using exercise
equipment? Do you have more fun exercising with a friend, a group,
or by yourself? Do you like to listen to music while you
If you haven't been exercising regularly, start slowly. Try 10
to 15 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week and increase from
Plan for your workouts and make them a priority by scheduling them
in your calendar.
Consider finding a workout partner or role model who can help
keep you motivated.
If you miss a few days of exercise, don't quit! Just go back to
your routine and eventually it will become a habit.
Making It Work
Perhaps it seems that you're too busy with work and family and
don't have any time or opportunities to be active. With a
little creativity, though, you can find ways to work activity into your
and keep a pair of comfortable
in your car or office.
Create opportunities to walk by parking further from the office or
by getting off the train or bus one stop earlier. Take the
instead of the elevator. Instead of using the phone
or email, stroll over to see your co-worker in person. Use break
times or part of your lunch hour to take a walk. If you go out to
lunch, park several blocks away from the restaurant.
Before or After Work
Exercise is a great way to start off the day feeling energized,
especially if you feel too tired to work out when you get home from
work. Or try exercising after work to relieve the stress and
tensions that can build up during the day. Family bonding and
exercise come together when you take walks or play with your kids
in the evening.
What do you do with your free time? Again, you can incorporate
physical activity into your other social and household activities.
Take up dancing. Take your family on a hike, play frisbee in the
park, or go to the zoo. Schedule regular walks with your family on
weekends and while you're doing
If possible, walk
to your church, synagogue, or other place of worship.
Doing household chores is a great way to get moderate physical
activity while tidying up. Scrub the bathtub, sweep the floor, wash
the windows, and reorganize your closet. If you want some fresh air
and sunshine but don't feel like sitting around, mow the grass,
trim the bushes, work in your garden, or wash the car.
Whether at work or home, when you're feeling stressed, even a
few minutes of exercise can provide some relief. Get up and take a
walk to clear your head. Walk up and down the stairs. Get away from
that tense or tedious situation. Taking a few breaks during hectic
days can enhance your well-being.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a