The CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity (i.e., brisk walk) aerobic activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week. They also recommend weight training on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.)
Start with 25 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. You do not have to aim for the stars right away. Your goal will be to work up to recommended guidelines and then eventually surpass them. Each consecutive week, increase your time of cardio by 5 minutes a day, aiming to a total of up to 40-50 minutes. Your cardio should make you break a sweat and increase your heart rate, but not make you feel out of breath. A little trick that I like to use is: if you cannot hold a conversation with a friend (or person next to you on the cardio machine) then you are going too fast. What does this mean? You should be able to talk the whole time comfortably while doing your cardio; you do not want to be gasping for air in the middle of each sentence, or after each word. Remember you burn fat when oxygen is present, if you’re having a hard time talking, then oxygen is not present.
Why do we want oxygen present? Remember we are doing Aerobics exercising. Aerobics means ‘with oxygen’ which means that oxygen is used in the process. Aerobic exercises are low intensity exercises which will burn fat over a period of time, i.e. walking.
I recommend starting off with a brisk walk. Walking is a great Aerobic exercise and keeps your heart rate at the correct level, but allows you to push yourself. Your walking can be either outdoors or on a treadmill. For outdoor walking, try and find a place that is somewhat level, with few hills. Hills are not bad though, as they will help to increase your heart rate and make you work harder. This does not mean you should go and walk up Mount Rushmore, but do not be scared of the hills in your neighborhood. Treadmills are not bad especially during the winter or on rainy days. They keep you at a constant pace, and most machines these days allow you the ability to control your incline. The most important fact to remember when walking on a treadmill is that you are NOT allowed to hold on, it’s cheating! Use your arms when walking. When starting out, keep your pace around 2.5 to 3.0 mph with an incline around 3.0 to 5.0 percent until you are comfortable to increase your speed. As you become more comfortable walking, start to increase your incline. Push yourself, but remember the key is not to hold on.
Remember you do not have to accomplish your 150 minutes at one time. Break it up through the week. Just make sure you are enjoying your start to a healthier you!
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