Disclaimer: Consult a physician before beginning any new exercise routine.
Are you one that doesn’t care to do exercise? Or have you just struggled finding one that works for your body? Not all of our bodies are the same. We aren’t at the same levels physically. And certain exercises can make you feel worse. But you know what’s worse than a bad exercise? No exercise at all! Sitting or lying down for hours will not help lose the weight. And it can also lead to cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Weak muscles can also contribute to broken bones and joints.
I’m going to suggest some exercises that will help you get moving. First of all, if you have weak knees or have extra pounds and are afraid of pulling a muscle or breaking something, consider an exercise that’s easy on the body. Swimming is probably the best exercise! Many community pools (pre-Covid) offer water aerobics classes. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you could go for lap swimming. For a 150 pound person, swimming the crawl for 30 minutes burns about 207 calories.
If you don’t have access to a pool, another low impact exercise is riding a bike. Bike riding puts less pressure on the feet and joints than walking. And if you have a bike with multiple speeds, you can adjust the difficulty. Also, because you are using your quad muscles more, then you’ll burn twice as many calories in the same amount of time!
After bike riding, walking is the next best low-impact exercise to get your body moving. If you currently don’t do any exercise, I’d recommend trying to add more steps into your day. You can do this by choosing a parking spot that’s further away, taking walk breaks throughout the day, and going to walk around the mall a couple of times before you start shopping.
The Mayo Clinic recommends a person gets approximately 150 minutes (30 min for 5 days) of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. If you’re just starting to exercise, you will probably stick with low to moderate.
Your heart rate will help you determine if the exercise is low, moderate or vigorous. Your peak heart rate is calculated by taking 220 minus your age. So if you are 40, your max heart rate will be 180. And to be considered a vigorous workout, your heart rate would be about 70% – 85% of the max (about 126 – 153). A moderate workout would be 50% – 70%.
Now the less physically fit you are, the more quickly your heart rate will rise with low to moderate activity. But the longer you are consistent with an exercise program, the lower your heart rate will drop.
Currently, riding a bike causes my heart rate to reach about 145 towards the 20 minute mark. So for about half the time, I’m exercising at moderate level and the other half is more vigorous. Running is more intense for me so I can usually reach my max heart rate.
You’ll want to pay attention to how you feel when exercising and possibly invest in a heart tracker such as a FitBit to better monitor your heart rate. Also remember to drink plenty of water because dehydration can lead to dizziness, light-headedness or fainting. And if you are a diabetic, remember to eat some food about an hour before and then eat something shortly afterward.
When you become consistent with an exercise routine, then try increasing it to improve your fitness. If you have trouble sticking to a program, get an accountability partner! If you don’t know of someone that can help you and would like some further guidance, Contact me and I’ll be happy to get you started!