We all know that in order to be truly successful in living a healthy lifestyle, diet AND exercise must be a part of our routine. If you feel like you could use some help getting started on the workout part of the intentional lifestyle equation, this post is just for you!
Cardio and strength training (this is not weight lifting for a body building contest I’m talking about here I promise) are extremely important to our well-being. Below are some basic tips and an example workout routine to help you add this integral part into the steps you’re already taking to live a more intentional lifestyle.
How Much Exercise Should I Be Doing?
The CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends a minimum of 2 1/2 hours of moderate intensity (gentle) cardio exercise along with 2 days of muscle strengthening per week for adults aged 18-64. While that might sound like a lot of time at once (especially if you’re already running a tight schedule) don’t worry, you can break it up. Just be sure you are doing 10-15 minutes each session.
What Does Moderate Intensity Mean Anyway?
If you can talk, but not sing during an activity it is considered moderate intensity! If you can sing while doing it, step it up a notch because you’re not getting your heart rate high enough to make a difference.
Benefits of Cardio Activity
Here’s just a short list of the benefits regular cardio exercise can give you:
- Weight loss
- Weight maintenance
- Reduced risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancer and arthritis.
- Immune system improvement
- Stress management
- Increased energy
- Better quality sleep
Examples of Gentle Cardio & Strength Training Exercises
- Biking (level ground or small hills)
- Treadmill or Stair Climbing
- Resistance Band Exercises
- Pushing a lawn mower
- General Gardening
- Ballroom Dancing
- Water Aerobics
- Toe Lifts
Sample Moderate Intensity Workout Schedule for Beginners
Days 1, 2 & 3: Walk briskly for 30 minutes.
Day 4: Muscle strengthening exercise with resistance bands (30 minutes)
Days 5 & 6: Walk briskly for 30 minutes
Day 7: Muscle strengthening exercise with resistance bands (30 minutes)
Remember: If 30 minutes is too long at first, break your routine up into two – 15 minute sessions!
The key with a workout like this is to get your heart pumping beyond its normal resting rate. After your first week or two of the sample cardio workout routine provided above, you’ll want to mix and match other forms of exercises (use the examples listed above and find others that fit your lifestyle and interests too).
You can’t out exercise poor nutrition, so be sure you’re implementing your workout routines in addition to the healthy eating habits you’ve already got in place.
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