A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, so becoming just a little more active can decrease your heart disease risk and increase your longevity. If you’re worried you’re too out of shape to get started, don’t be. “It’s more dangerous to remain sedentary than to start an exercise program,” says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, director of the cardiac rehabilitation program and exercise laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
Don’t think, though, that you have to become a marathoner to see such benefits. “Small increases in cardiovascular fitness through short bouts of exercise can lead to significant improvements in the health of your heart,” Franklin says, adding that physically active individuals experience up to a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack.
But what sort of exercise is best? Experts say you need two types: aerobic exercise and strength training.
Aerobic Exercise for Heart Health
Although aerobic exercise can include bicycling, swimming, jogging, and aerobic classes, walking may be one of the best activities. That’s because you can do it anywhere, and you need little
Q: What’s the best time of day to exercise?
A: The best time of day to exercise is the time that works best for you. Studies go back and forth on this topic and there are benefits in exercising in the morning and later in the day. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. Choose a time that helps you make exercise a regular and consistent part of your routine. Here’s why:
It’s all about finding your rhythm.
Ever wonder why some of us are morning people while others are not? This has quite a bit to do with your body’s internal clock, or your circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are a daily cycle of sleep and wake cycles. It’s this cycle that regulates physical, mental, and behavioral changes within a 24-hour period. Body temperature, blood pressure, and metabolism are some of the physiological processes that can be affected by your body’s internal clock. These rhythms respond to changes in the environment and can be set and reset. The changes in the environment that can have an effect on circadian rhythms include lightness and darkness, temperatures within
The New York Times published an article “Should Athletes Eat Fat or Carbs?” last week which was based on a study that shows a diet comprised of 85 percent fat can help improve overall performance for ultra-endurance athletes more than the traditional high-carbohydrate diet considered best for athletes. And by fat, they mean good fats that come from foods like nuts, avocados, and extra-virgin olive oil — not your cheeseburgers and French fries. But before you throw all your healthy eating rules out the window, it’s important to note that this recommendation is not for most of us — these recommendations for real athletes. We’re talking about people who exercise for a living — think NBA players, Olympic swimmers, or professional marathoners.
Let’s be honest: Most of us don’t run more than two marathons a week or work out at all hours of the day, so this way of eating is not recommended, even for high school and college players and people who exercise regularly. However, this information certainly brings into question traditional thinking and, as so often with these studies, leaves us wondering if this type of eating could benefit
I have seen estimates that as many as 70 percent of American adults have no exercise routine. For the most part, Americans do not walk miles a day like our European counterparts. To stay healthy we need some type of regular exercise program to assure our body’s health. You do not want to wait until you lose your health to realize its importance
Why do so many Americans lack a regular exercise routine? I believe the problem is a result of common errors in the development of an exercise routine. These errors result in excessive fatigue, injury and an avoidance of one of the easiest things you can do to improve your quality of life. The following tips might keep you on the path to making an exercise routine that is fun and will add to your energy and health:
1. Start out with a routine that is appropriate for your current level of fitness.
2. Start with a written plan that outlines your first few weeks of your routine.
3. Make sure you have the right equipment to be safe and avoid injury.
4. Be patient, increase intensity and duration in small doses.
5. Listen to your body; do not let small aches become serious