Fitness and Exercise Product Guide
Exercise and fitness are complementary. All studies indicate that exercising responsibly leads to overall general fitness. It's more than just muscle tone and appearance.
More physicians are realizing that aerobic exercises are extremely helpful in maintaining cardiovascular wellness. Jogging, running, walking, and biking are the mainstays and can easily be done without a gym environment. Before starting any exercise routine, it's important to have a physical with your doctor, advising that you're interested in doing so.
Jumping rope can be done in most homes and is especially useful when the weather isn't so conducive to 4-mile walks outdoors.
Many fitness experts advise to stretch muscles prior to aerobic work. Many suggest working with weights under 5 pounds to help promote resistance for greater flexing and toning.
The key aspect of aerobic training is regularity. Most individuals who earnestly begin an exercise program almost always fail to follow through on a regular basis. That's because a program must be reasonable for your age and condition. You should be aware of the degree (intensity) of what you can and should do. When you exercise, it is important to work at an intensity level that is right for you. This is defined as your Target Heart Rate, which is what your pulse rate should be to exercise safely and receive the maximum cardiovascular benefits. The key is to maintain this rate for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
The simplest way to calculate your Target Heart Rate is to subtract your age from 220. This number is the maximum times your heart can beat in one minute. If you are just beginning, your target heart rate should be between 60 to 75% of your maximum heart rate but after six months you can safely exercise up to 85%. Weight reduction is easily accomplished at 60 to 75%, during cardio-training. 75 to 85% is where you achieve an efficient cardiovascular workout. If you feel that it's difficult to meet these goals, work regularly and slowly until you can. You'd be pleasantly surprised to see how soon you will.
An easy way to check your heart rate is to place the tips of your middle and index fingers in the groove of your throat just to the side of the Adam's apple. Count the heartbeats for six seconds and multiply the number of beats by 10. If you are not within your range, you may need to adjust your workout. After cooling down, check your pulse rate again. It should be below 100 before you stop moving. You can eliminate the inaccuracy and inconvenience of taking your heart rate by wearing a heart rate monitor.
With a monitor, you don't need to stop exercising or count anything; you just glance at the display on your wrist. A good monitor can cost less than $60, the really fancy ones cost up to $400. The most accurate type of monitor is the chest-strap variety, which operates on the same principle as a medical electrocardiogram (ECG). You hook a strap around your chest, which acts as an electrode that measures the electrical activity of your heart. This information is translated into a number, which is transmitted to a wrist receiver that is worn like an ordinary wristwatch. Usually, you will also find functions similar to a digital sports watch. Timex and Casio, popular watch manufacturers, have watches that also act as heart-rate monitors.
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