Fitness Guide

The World Health Organization recommends adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity and at least 2 days of moderate intensity muscle-strengthening activity involving all the major muscle groups per week. Children and adolescents should do even more, averaging at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day and muscle strengthening activities at least three times per week. Aerobic physical activity includes jogging, walking, swimming, cycling etc. Each activity has its advantages and disadvantages. Weight bearing activity such as walking, jogging and stair climbing help to maintain bone density while cycling and swimming tend to be easier on the joints. Choose a combination of activities that provides the most benefits. Your current fitness level and health condition will determine which activities you can perform safely. If you have been inactive for a while, check with your Doctor before starting up again. Always begin at a low intensity and short duration and gradually increase both variables as your fitness level improves.

By age 50 you lose about 10% of your strength and by age 80 you will lose an additional 40% unless something is done about it. Fortunately, you can build muscle at any age. Resistance training must therefore become a permanent part of your life if you want to function properly. Your training program can combine Calisthenics (using your own body weight), Free Weights and Weight Machines. As with aerobic training, start with light weights and gradually work your way up to your target weight. It takes about 15 consecutive sessions before you start building muscle so don't be discouraged. A word of caution; improper technique and too much weight can lead to injury. Consult "ONE MINUTE WORKOUTS" and "DAILY WORKOUTS" for demonstrations.

Flexibility also decreases with age and can lead to injury and poor posture. Stretching should be done daily. There are many enjoyable ways to stretch. You can take a stretch class or Yoga class. You can also participate in Dance, Gymnastics or Martial Arts. The rule for stretching is "over time not over night" so take it easy. Consult "ONE MINUTE STRETCHES" and "DAILY WORKOUTS" for demonstrations of simple stretches and stretch routines.