If you are going to start a low intensity exercise programme and progress to an aerobic exercise programme, then the following tips might be of some help.
(a) Visit your doctor and get a thorough physical and stress test (if warranted). If you have any of the following conditions, you need to talk specifically about them
- Chest pain or any known heart condition.
- High blood pressure.
- Family history of heart disease or stroke.
- Lung or breathing problems.
- Irregular heart beats.
- Arthritis or joint disorders.
- Foot problems.
(b) If you have not been very active, it is important to begin slowly. The benefits of exercise last only as long as you continue them, therefore, a lifelong exercise program is the goal. It does not matter how fast you progress to the next level. Do not over-exert yourself or compete with others. The important thing is that you gradually become physically fit and maintain the level of fitness forever or from day-to-day.
- Have your doctor or gymnasium professional give you an exercise prescription that consists of a target heart rate as well as any other specific instructions.
- Decide on the exercises that you want to do.
- Find a place that suits your needs. Exercising in the cold may be a problem for the aged because it causes constriction of the blood vessels and, combined with high blood pressure can put excess pressure on the cardiovascular system. That is why activities such as chopping wood and shoveling snow should be avoided as far as possible. Therefore, in cold climates, you may need to find an alternative place such as a health club, fitness centre or gym. Some indoor malls promote organized walking through the complex before business hours.
- Wear proper clothing to suit the weather and for the particular activity. Your head should be covered to prevent heat loss, and make sure that your hands and feet are warm. Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows freedom of movement. Adequate footwear is most important. Supportive shoes with good shock-absorbing qualities are essential to prevent injuries while jogging, and special walking shoes to provide the best support.
||FOLLOW A SYSTEMATIC EXCERCISING ROUTINE
Each exercise session should consist of three phases — warm-up, aerobic exercise and cool down. Begin by stretching yourself. Extend and flex your muscles only to the limit to which you can do with ease. Always stretch slowly and gently while breathing deeply. You will find that regular, easy stretching will increase your flexibility as well as your degree of relaxation.
Your stretching routine should be followed by two to five minutes of easy warm-up exercise. This consists of a slow, easy pace of your basic exercise of walking, cycling or swimming. Only after these preliminaries, are you ready to proceed on to your planned programme of aerobic exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
Finally, a period of 3 to 5 minutes of slow, gentle cool down must be planned. This is very important to prevent orthopedic, as well as cardiovascular problems that may result from suddenly stopping intense exercise. It is important to set aside a daily time for exercise, and do not squeeze it into an already hectic schedule, which will otherwise create an overburdened situation.