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Aerobic Exercise

Both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. Adults should include strength training exercises twice a week to reduce injury risk and to increase bone density. However, increasing your level of exercise past these minimum guidelines will reap even more benefits.

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

Instead of clumping your workouts together on a few days during the week, a better strategy is to spread your activity throughout the week. By doing this, you'll keep your hormonal profile optimal for losing weight and gaining muscle. 

Some benefits of reaching the recommended amount of weekly exercise include

  • Weight loss
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increased stamina
  • Increased immune function
  • Better cholesterol scores
  • Longer expected lifespan

Exercise Intensity

There are two ways to measure the intensity of aerobic exercise. The first way is to measure how you feel subjectively. The second way is by using your heart rate.

Moderate aerobic activity is reached when 

  • You're breathing heavy but aren't out of breath
  • You're sweating lightly
  • You can still talk but can't sing
  • You're at 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate

Vigorous aerobic activity is reached when

  • You're breathing deeply
  • You have to pause for breath after saying a few words
  • You're at 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate

Finding Your Maximum Heart Rate

To find your maximum heart rate, you can use the formula 220-your age for a rough idea. If you want to be more accurate, you can test your max heart rate by running intervals for three minutes and then resting for three minutes until your heart rate plateaus. This method is only suitable for people without medical conditions where max effort exercise is dangerous. 

Here are five sample weekly plans to get you started in building a weekly workout routine.

Plan 1

  • Monday - 30-minutes on treadmill / 60-minutes of lower body weights
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - 60-minutes of running
  • Thursday - 60-minutes of upper body weights
  • Friday - 30-minutes on a treadmill
  • Saturday - rest
  • Sunday - 30-minutes of running outside

Plan 2

  • Monday - 30-minutes on stationary bike / 60-minutes of lower body weights
  • Tuesday - 60-minutes of rock climbing
  • Wednesday - Rest
  • Thursday -30-minutes on stationary bike / 60-minutes of upper body weights
  • Friday - 30-minutes of running on a treadmill
  • Saturday - rest
  • Sunday - rest

Plan 3

  • Monday - 30-minutes on stationary bike / 60-minutes of lower body weights
  • Tuesday - 30-minutes of rowing
  • Wednesday - 30-minutes of rowing
  • Thursday - 30-minutes on stationary bike / 60-minutes of upper body weights
  • Friday -  30-minutes of rowing 
  • Saturday - rest
  • Sunday - rest

Plan 4

  • Monday - 30-minutes of biking
  • Tuesday - 30-minutes of hiking
  • Wednesday - 30-minutes of rowing
  • Thursday -30-minutes of biking
  • Friday - 30-minutes of rowing
  • Saturday - 60-minutes of lower body weights
  • Sunday - 60-minutes of upper body weights

Plan 5

  • Monday - 30-minutes of running
  • Tuesday - 20-minutes of swimming / 60-minutes of lower body weights
  • Wednesday - 20-minutes of running
  • Thursday -20-minutes of swimming
  • Friday - 20-minutes of biking / 60-minutes of upper body weights
  • Saturday - 20-minutes of running
  • Sunday - 20-minutes of biking

Conclusion

There are many different ways to accumulate 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week. Try to include activates that you enjoy and that excite you. Also, don't be afraid to exceed the minimum guidelines for increased health benefits. 

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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.