Did you know that you should change your exercise routine every 14 days? Engaging in a variety of physical activities is important. Your fitness routine should include aerobic, strength-training and stretching, and health benefits are gained by using muscles for extended periods of time. Some options include: 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity, or try a combination of both moderate and vigorous aerobic activity. 

Moderate activity increases your heart rate, but you should still be able to talk comfortably. Walking on a level surface at about three or four miles per hour, ballroom dancing and leisurely bicycling are some enjoyable examples. Vigorous activity increases your heart rate, breathing is labored, and it is more difficult to carry on a conversation. Bicycling uphill or quickly jogging, swimming, and playing singles tennis are examples of vigorous activity that are certain to get your heart pumping.

Strength training increases the strength and endurance of muscles. It can be done using weight machines, free weights and resistance bands. Push-ups and sit-ups are good examples of strength-training activities which can be done using your body weight instead of equipment (so that excuse can go away!)

Stretching improves flexibility which allows for more mobility. Stretch after your muscles are warmed up allowing for a wider range of motion. To help prevent injuries, one should stretch and warm up for three minutes prior to strength training.

Regular physical activity also helps maintain a healthy weight. If overweight, physical activity along with a proper diet can help achieve weight loss. To get a better idea of what kind of workouts you should be doing, first determine your Body Mass Index or BMI which is calculated from your weight and height. Women with a BMI of 25-29.9 are considered overweight; when BMI is 30 or higher, women are considered obese.1

Keep your physical activity enjoyable. Switch it up regularly and reward yourself when you achieve your weekly goal. (Just remember, don’t go overboard with the reward!) Having a workout partner can also make physical activity more fun and accomplishing goals more satisfying. 

Don’t expect to notice body changes right away. It can take weeks or even months to notice significant changes in appearance. Keep in mind, many benefits of physical activity are happening inside you and are not always visible. If you feel them, feel certain your exercise routine is working, and that the noticeable change is coming soon!

Just remember to be smart about working out. Do what your body can handle and always consult with your doctor prior to starting a new workout program if you currently, or previously have had, health issues. Take care of your body at all times, and have fun changing it up!

Diana Evanko, owner, and Chelsea Higholt, ISSA certified personal trainer are with C-Fitness: Ladies Workout in Palm Desert. They can be reached at (760) 636.4177.

Reference: 1) Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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