"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Rethinking Cardio Exercise

Standard exercise guidelines call for no less than 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise. But many individuals have trouble reaching this mark.

Break it down

The first step to overcoming these obstacles is to divide the time commitment into manageable chunks. For example, 150 minutes is 2.5 hours, which involves half-hour five days every week, or about 20 minutes per day. “And you don't have to do that 20 to 30 minutes at a time,” says Dr. Upwin. “You can also break it up into two or three 10-minute daily segments. Each has 10 minutes to exercise.”

Next, change your perception of “moderate intensity.” “People automatically get overwhelmed because it seems hard, but this level of exertion is not as physically demanding as people might think and is quite doable,” says Dr. Upwin. (See “How to Measure Moderate-Intensity Exercise.”)

How to Measure Moderate Intensity Exercise

A straightforward measure of moderate exercise is the “talk test”: If you're working hard enough to interrupt a sweat but can still hold a conversation comfortably, you're at the correct level. Another method is to make use of the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale, which rates exercise intensity based on how you are feeling. Symptoms reminiscent of a quick heart rate, heavy and rapid respiration, increased sweating, and drained muscles indicate high intensity. A modified Borg scale rates exertion from 1 to 10, with 1 being very easy and 10 being very strenuous (including respiration or gasping for air). Moderate-to-vigorous activity is a 5 to six on this scale, meaning “somewhat strenuous” exertion with heavy respiration.

Different sorts of aerobics

Any kind of movement that gets your heart rate up, your respiration quick, and makes you sweat somewhat is taken into account aerobic exercise. The best exercise is the one you enjoy. But don't think you're limited to traditional activities like running, cycling, swimming, or tennis. There are other options that will fit your interests, comfort level and skills. Here are some examples.

walk fast. Brisk walking is a straightforward moderate exercise. But what's “fast”? The pace is different for everybody, but here's the recommendation of President Harry Truman, who moved to Independence, Mo., after leaving office. Known for its brisk morning walks across the He followed a pace of 120 steps per minute for 1.5 miles, a routine he learned in the military. “You swing your arms and take deep breaths as you walk…your whole body gets a vigorous workout,” he wrote.

Climb the steps. Set a timer for five to 10 minutes and walk up and down the steps at a snug pace.

Treadmill A reliable treadmill will be a terrific cardio tool, as you possibly can adjust the incline and speed to achieve the specified intensity.

Marching from place to position. You don't need plenty of space for cardio. For example, try marching in place. Stand together with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows and swing your arms as you lift your knees, separately, bringing them higher and better with each movement. March in place for 50 steps at a gentle rhythm. Rest and repeat several times.

house work Many household chores count as exercises moderately. Examples include mowing the lawn, raking leaves, digging and planting, washing the automobile, and vacuuming. “Although these are often halting activities and feel mild, the movements can increase,” says Dr. Upwin.

weight training. The guidelines also recommend weight training no less than two days every week to assist construct and maintain muscle mass. But it may possibly even be a option to add in some moderate-intensity aerobics. “Doing weight training exercises in a circuit fashion, where you move from one exercise to the next without any rest, can get the heart rate high enough to provide cardio benefits,” says Dr. Upovian. are

Different movements. “Almost any movement can be done with enough effort,” says Dr. Upwin. “Take a dance class, go hiking, play pickleball, or walk 18 holes of golf instead of getting in the car.”

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