Although aerobic exercise is done mainly to improve and maintain cardiovascular health, virtually every tissue in your body benefits from this type of exercise. Aerobic exercise is especially beneficial to get rid of abdominal fat and is also one of the best ways to increase your natural supply of endorphins, which are associated with feelings of pleasure.

For a full discussion on choosing a routine for your personal needs, see Chapter 14 of Transcend.

 

Aerobic Routine

  • Warmup. Spend 3 to 5 minutes walking and warming your muscles
  • Aerobics exercise. Get your heart rate into your desired training range
    • Your MPHR (maximum predicted heart rate) is 220 – your age
    • Training benefits are experienced at 65 to 85 percent of your MPHR
      • Benefits to the heart begin after 20 minutes of continuous exercise
      • Extend to 30 minutes or longer for best results
    • Walk at a rate of at least 4 mph to get close to your training range
  • Cooldown. Walk slowly for about 3 to 5 minutes
  • Stretching. Gently stretch the muscles which were just used for 3-5 minutes

 

Tips and Resources

The Men's Health Guide to Peak Conditioning includes a list of pros and cons on various activities, as well as some great pointers for football, skiing, baseball, swimming and many others.

One way to amp up a walking routine is to add poles and vary your stride. The extra challenge to the body could actually double your effort and calorie burn without adding any strain to the joints. In fact, the poles can help minimize the impact on your hips, knees and ankles.

Runner's World Online offers a range of leg-related exercise information, including a series of exercises to strengthen and protect the knee, tips to avoid blisters, and proper stretching techniques.

The American Hiking Society highlights information on pre-hike stretches, snacks, first aid and a list of state and national park locations to get you started.

To find a specific trail, Trails.com is a useful service that offers a free 14-day trial membership including up to 3 free trail downloads.

Sure, you know how to walk. But how is your technique? Check out these five steps to better walking, including proper alignment.

The American College of Sports Medicine is a good resource for fitness education and recommendations for the general public.

 

Warning

If you are over 40 years of age and haven’t been exercising on a regular basis previously, you should speak with your health professional before starting on an exercise program. This is particularly important if you have a history of heart disease or other serious illness or have been expressing any unusual symptoms such as chest pain or pressure, lightheadedness, dizziness, back or joint pain, etc.

Some types of activity such as running, jogging or jumping rope involve repetitive pounding or jarring to the joints. With this in mind, you may want to consider activities such as, fast walking, cross country skiing, swimming, bicycling, swimming or rowing that is less stressful to your joints.