Many a blog post or article we read talks about the latest or greatest way to burn the most amount of calories to work our muscles efficiently and while this information can serve us a dose of creativity, today I thought I would get back to the basics and remind everyone that the bottom line is we just need to keep moving – no matter our age, level of fitness or circumstance, let’s do it for our heart. We need to stop making a promise to start tomorrow (which is usually an “excuse”) and make a commitment to make exercise a part of our lifestyle year round, not January or when the weather is fair or conditions are ideal. Even with less daylight hours, there are many indoor options for you especially here at NRG 4 Life Fitness. If you’ve never been to our facility, now is the time! The hardest part actually is stepping into the door for the first time. With friendly staff and a truly non-intimidating environment, it is our goal to make your fitness experience a positive one.
“Strengthening Uxbridge ONE Person at a Time” is more than just our tag line at NRG 4 Life, it runs through our veins and is my reason for getting up in the mornings. Study upon study consistently demonstrates that regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and, sudden cardiac death.
One of the longest: the Nurses’ Health Study, which tracked more than 72,000 women aged 40 to 65 for eight years says; those who walked briskly for three or more hours a week were 35 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease than those who walked infrequently.
Ideally, the greater the intensity of physical activity the better, so the more you sweat the better.
But no sweat doesn’t mean no benefit. Walking around the block or hitting a shopping mall is better for your heart than sitting around the house.
Don’t worry if you can’t do too much at one time. It’s the total amount that matters. If you have time for only a half-hour brisk walk during lunch and then another half-hour walk at the end of the day, you’ll essentially get the same benefit as taking an hour-long walk.
Exercises like walking help the heart pump more efficiently, explains Sesso. It also improves the strength of the heart and the way blood vessels respond to increased demands on the heart.
Worried that exercising more might trigger a heart attack? Many people use this as a mental crutch. Start slow. The rate at which that happens is quite low, and should not preclude exercising in the first place. At NRG 4 Life, we offer classes that are great for people starting out and certified personal trainers who can design a custom program that is appropriate for your level of fitness. Contact us to arrange for a complementary consult so we can create a fitness plan that will work for you based on your needs.
If you’ve had a heart attack or some sort of cardiovascular procedure, cardiac rehabilitation programs do a great job monitoring and ensuring that the types of exercises that are being done are safe.
While walking is the most natural way to begin to exercise, you can do whatever you enjoy. It can be sports, going to the gym, social activities like dancing, or joining a walking group and doing a daily route.
“Walking at even a slow pace improves cardiovascular fitness,” says Robert Ross, an exercise physiologist at Queens University in Canada. Ross led a six-month study of treadmill walking in 300 sedentary obese middle-aged adults.
While slow was fine, “the more they walked and the higher the intensity, the more their fitness improved,” says Ross.
“Our participants were struck by how easy it was to ramp up the intensity of their walking by simply raising the incline of the treadmill by 1 or 2 percent. That’s an amount that is hardly perceptible, but it makes a big difference.”
So how much should you walk or do other exercise? To improve your health, do 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like:
75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity like:
To improve your health even more, increase your activity to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity OR 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity. If you go beyond either, you’ll gain even more health benefits.
Combine your cardiovascular exercise with muscle-strengthening activities (like lifting weights, kettlebells or using resistance bands) that work all major muscle groups at least twice per week to balance things out and always include stretching. Again, you will notice on our group fitness schedule lots of classes are strength based like Muscle Fusion, Pilates, Barre, various circuit classes and the ever popular yoga! Our experienced fitness instructors will be sure to not only provide lots of motivation, they always give options for all levels so regardless as to where you are along your fitness journey you will be inspired to work at your own pace. So even though the weather is not as balmy and you’re finding it harder to be active especially now that we’ve turned back the clocks and have less daylight, do not let this hamper with your fitness. Explore some indoor fitness options at a well-equipped fitness center like NRG 4 Life. Find a facility that suits your needs and makes you feel uncomfortable. The atmosphere has to feel right or you won’t be as likely to go. Come check us out and see why we’ve been voted #1 since 2009 🙂