Incorporating an exercise routine as part of your healthy lifestyle is one of the most valuable habits toward improved well-being. Combined with a healthy meal plan, exercise plays a pivotal role in the goal to lose weight. However, it is important to continue an exercise program not only to maintain a healthy target weight, but also to achieve optimal cardiovascular condition.
An exercise program that includes a cardiovascular workout will vastly improve heart health and blood flow, reducing the chances for heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Any sustained period of exercise that gets your heart pumping faster constitutes a cardiovascular workout. These activities include jogging, swimming, jumping rope, power walking, aerobic dancing and exercises that utilize equipment such as stationary bicycles, elliptical machines, treadmills and step machines. Such workouts increase heart rates and burn the most calories. Your workout routine should also include some weight training or Pilates exercises to strengthen and tone various muscles throughout your body.
If it has been awhile since you have engaged in a workout, begin slowly. If you join a fitness club, enlist one of the staff trainers to help you get started. They can give you an introductory overview of the facility and its equipment, tailor an exercise routine to help you accomplish your goals and keep you motivated through those early days. Always begin each exercise session with a few minutes of various stretches to loosen tightened muscles and prepare your body for the workout. Start exercising three days a week at fifteen minutes per session. Work at a pace that feels comfortable for you. You should feel that you are pushing your body to work, yet be able to speak in conversation while doing so. Remember to drink water after every session to order to rehydrate by replenishing fluids lost through perspiration during your workout.
Gradually pick up the pace, the duration of each session and the frequency of days for your workout as you feel comfortable. An ideal workout schedule should encompass five days per week at 45-60 minutes per session. Today's lifestyles can become hectic as we try to find a balance between career obligations, household and family responsibilities and leisure time. When life becomes overwhelming, remember that even some exercise is better than none. If you can only fit three days at 30-45 minutes into your busy lifestyle, you will still reap some very healthy benefits.
Choose exercises that appeal to your interests so that you will stick with them. If you find gym equipment to be monotonous and prefer a creative performance outlet, then try some dance classes. If you love the outdoors, take up jogging, bicycling or swimming. Listen to your favorite tunes or a new audiobook to give your mind something pleasant to focus on while working out. Switch up your routine to avoid getting into a dreaded rut. For example, swim laps in the backyard pool throughout the summer months and then switch to bicycling in the fall, reserving the indoor environment of the gym for the colder winter season.
Additional physical activities such as housework, a weekend hike, walking your dog around the block, a game of tag with your children or a weekly kickboxing class with your best friend all serve to enhance your regular workout routine. The more variety of exercise and physical activity you engage in, the more your body will benefit.
With improved cardiovascular health, a healthy weight and a toned physique, you will look better and feel better for many years ahead.