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Care of the body invlves many things, but in the realm of taking responsibility for ourselves and reaching our fullest potential is the E-word - Exercise. Ofthen, we believe that physical health and strenght is an option, even though the media is saturated with experts telling us how exercise helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other illness.

For adults, experts recommend doing areobic activity for optimum health brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, racquetball, and aerobic dance, for 30 minutes, three times a week. For children, 60 minutes of activity every day is recommended.

For seniors, walking, water aerobics and stretching can improve flexibility in muscles and joints. Howerver, before starting any exercise plan, you must consult a physician.

Sadly, those who do start an exercise programme often abandon it around the third to sixth month. This could be due to over-emphasising what they see in the mirror, and not the "interior" gains.

Studies have proven that consistent aerobic exercise boosts metabolism. Aerobics promotes cardiovascular fitness by making the heart and lungs work harder.

exerciseDuring aerobic activity, the heart pumps more blood, which helps prevent the build-up of fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries. The lungs are demanding plenty of oxygen, too, which makes them get stronger.

Aerobic exercise also helps control weight, increases muscle and joint flexibility and reduces our susceptibility to injuries.

In other words, there's a lot more happening when we work out than meets the eye.

How often should aerobic exercises be performed for optimum benefit?

Experts tell us three to five times per week. Exercising less often has been shown to up the level of fitness, but significant fitness gains are made when workouts are increased.

If you can't get into the gym more often, don't overlook increasing your workouts with several brisk walks during the week.

How Long should one exercise per session or outing? At least 15 minutes, but 30-60 minutes is even better.

exerciseHowever, in today's busy society, the 10 or 15 minute intervals of aerobic activity can be very beneficial, especially if done two or three times a day.

When working out, keep the pace brisk, but not so intense that you can't pass the talk test - the ablility to carry on a conversation at the height of yur workout.

If you want get more specific about working in your optimum heart rate zone, a fitness professional can help you figure your range.

For those who don't mind doing a little research, three are several good websites on fitness and exercise where the heart rate zone can easily be figured.

Studies show the most successful exercisers are the ones who ingratiate the need for physical activity into their lives, not as an experiment, but as a way of life.

to your body”.


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