How to Create the Exercise Habit: CARDIO

The Biggest Bang for your Buck is Exercise! So why are you not doing it?

People always ask me, “What is the best exercise for me?” And I always answer, “The one you will do.” This is a very short answer to an intense question. All exercise can either work your body muscles or your cardiovascular system (your HEART muscle) or both. IF someone does an exercise incorrectly or without the proper warm up or attempts something they are unprepared or untrained for, then it would BE the WRONG exercise. In the world of functional fitness, exercise is designed to make your everyday tasks easier, and your occasional strenuous tasks like playing with children, taking an unplanned hike or deciding to rake the yard for 4 hours less likely to make you too sore or worse injure yourself.

Consistent lifestyle exercise has a huge payoff!  Two sessions of Weight Training per week that last roughly 40 to 60 minutes for SIX months, can reduce your biological aging markers up to 10 years. That’s a lot of time won back for a 6 month habit, a 48 hour investment!!! Multiple studies show a marked improvement in cognitive function in older adults who weight train at least TWICE per week. So why are you not doing it? Another amazing research based statistic: 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity 4 times per week, that would include walking, dancing, swimming, jogging, marching in place, biking can reduce your chances of stroke by up to 60%. So why are you not doing it?

As a Wellness and Weight Loss Expert who has trained over 30,000 hours with adults who are mostly over 50, I feel confident in stating you are not doing it primarily because you do not know what to do, and secondly, IF you choose to do something you do NOT do it long enough to feel that marked benefit. So you start and stop, start and stop, then give exercise up blaming your age and your fear of getting hurt.  AGING is hurting you when you do nothing; like RUST, it happens when things lie dormant. Overcome your resistance with a safe start based on your “perceived exertion.”

hiking-imageHOW TO CREATE A CARDIO-VASCULAR HABIT [Walking] – Day One: Walk for as long as you can without undue stress. Go until you perceive exertion like “out of breath” and/or your legs feel burny, itchy or if unsteady, stop! Let’s say it took you 5 mins to get “huffy puffy” or your legs to get jello-ish.
– Day Two – Six: Walk 5 minutes daily for 6 days.
– Day Seven: Repeat the test. Walk until you perceive  exertion like out of breath” and/or your legs feel burny, itchy or if unsteady, stop! This time let’s say you perceive the need to stop at 9 minutes.
– Day Two – Six: Walk 9 minutes daily for 6 days
– Day Seven: Retest

Repeat this process until you reach 30 minutes.Once you have walked 30 minutes every day for 6 days, think about doing a full out effort on Day 7 with a group of friends in a more strenuous fun exercise like hiking, biking, a Zumba class, or anything that makes you smile, laugh or feel alive and happy. Celebrate that you have created a cardiovascular/daily movement habit! And KEEP DOING IT!

Celebrate your new lease on life by walking briskly 4 to 5 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes, and invest one to two days per week in a strenuous fun adventure with friends and your heart and mind will sing! I promise! Next month, I will introduce a safe starter strength training program for you to do on your own or with a companion or children!

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