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Exercise Programs
Daily Exercise
Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise Programs

      Important in losing weight is burning calories. This can be effectively accomplished through aerobic exercise. Most experts agree that a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching provide the important ingredients of an active, healthy lifestyle.

1) Aerobic exercise

Aerobic activity brings up the heart rate and burns calories. Aerobic activities include many sports, including jogging, tennis and biking, but also walking and completing household chores. Everyone should aim for 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5-7 days a week. It is important to note that shorter periods of aerobic exercise also count. Start slowly and build up the amount of aerobic activity daily. If you have physical limitations or health concerns that affect your ability to engage in aerobic activity, talk to your doctor.

2) Strength Training

Strength training in an important component of an activity plan. After the age of 30, a person begins loosing muscle mass. Free weights are an excellent method for strength training. When starting a strength training program, remember that more repetitions of lighter weights is best. If you cannot complete 10-15 repetitions of weight, use less weight.

When strength training, always work on all muscle groups - legs, arms, back, chest, shoulders and abdominals. Strength training should be practiced 2-3 times per week.

3) Stretching

Stretching for increased flexibility is often overlooked in exercise programs. Stretching exercises will aid balance, flexibility and range of motion. Although it is best to stretch both before and after exercising, many people chose only one. Stretching after exercise is ideal, as the muscles are warmed up.

Always hold stretches for at least 30 seconds. Focus on stretching the muscles used most in whatever form of aerobic exercise practised. The back is of particular importance. Stretching back muscles can help to prevent any number of injuries associated with the back.

The U.S. Government's Food and Nutrition Information Center offers detailed information about nutritional guidelines for Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases offers excellent resources on nutrition and other health issues.

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