Gentle and Enjoyable Exercise is the Key to Regular Exercise

Aerobic exercise improves your circulation and the health of your heart while keeping you fit for life.

Gentle Exercise is the key to Regular Exercise.

If having more energy and feeling fit don’t appeal to you, move to another web page.
If losing weight or toning up muscles your is not your goal, move to another page.
If belonging to a minority is not your idea of fun, then click away.
You can become part of the 15 percent of the nation who exercise
regularly using these simple steps.

Start your exercise gently. Walk slowly; lift light weights; ride a bicycle leisurely: hardly work up a sweat at all. Don't even get out of breath. If you do, you're moving too fast.

Most people who give up on an exercise program do so because they
start too harshly. Taking an ill prepared body through a strenuous
workout predestines you to failure. Your aches and muscle pains after
the workout, plus the discomfort during the training put even the most
resourceful people off of exercise for long periods. Use your mental
resources to hold back. Short easy walks will prepare your skeletal
and heart muscle for future exercise, while also getting you into the
habit of finding the time for exercise.
The best exercise gurus eschewed the “no pain no gain” philosophy
before the Internet was invented.
There are 24 hours to each day; you only need to start with 15
minutes on four of those days. One hour per week, less than one
percent of the week is easy to find.
After dropping the children off at school, drive to a quite spot such as
a park on your route to work. Walk slowly for seven minutes. Look
around you. Take in the sights and sounds. Then smell that rose
which you’ve been ignoring for years; or watch the ducks circle, or
dogs running. After your one minute look, smell and rest break, walk
leisurely back to your car. Congratulations, you have just started your
pain free exercise program.

Variety is vital to an exercise program, so two days later, take your
15 minute walk at lunch time. If you can find 3-4 flights of stairs to
walk up also (do them slowly), you’ve just added strength training.
Four flights of 15 steps at five inches per step means a 150 pound
“weight lifter” has lifted 9,000 pounds! 

The next day, leave work earlier than normal, or get home later, thus
making space for your 15 minute stroll. Unwind as those work
thoughts drift through your system. Use the adrenaline from work
stress to send you 7 minutes to a viewpoint...then practice deep
breathing as you force your work life out, and look toward your
private time, to your healthy evening. 

Your fourth session will be at the weekend. You only need to convert
one half of a percent of your weekend to an exercise period. Do
fifteen minutes out of your 48 hours with your heartrate up a few
dozen beats per minute. You can break those fifteen minutes up if
you wish. Research shows that you gain almost as much health
benefit from exercising in short sections as you do from one
continuous walk. You can park half a mile from the mall to give a
total of a mile walk, or use the same trick for church.

Increasing your aerobic exercise beyond 15 minutes per day.

As you reap the health and fitness benefits from this first hour of exercise every week,
you’ll begin to feel fitter. You can then:
Exercise a few minutes longer by adding 3-5 minutes each month to
each workout.
Increase intensity with somewhat faster walking in the middle 10
minutes of each session. When walking up those stairs, take them still
slower, but two steps at a time. Stair walking works your buttock
muscles. After a few more weeks, take the elevator down then walk
back up. You’ve just started interval training.

Then, add variety with gentle:
Biking, swimming, skating (any kind you like), exercise machines or
easy paced running.

You can add intensity by walking hills instead of stairs. Don't take your heartrate above 80 percent of your maximum until you've been exercising for 3 months though. Then, find a 2-5 % incline and walk at your regular pace up the hill. Try shorter steps at first. If you use a treadmill, simply raise the incline gradually to about 6 %. Add another one percent every couple of weeks until your form vanishes, then go back one percent to your natural comfort zone. Do the middle third of your exercise session at this higher intensity. The majority of your time should still be spent at 70 % of maximum heartrate or less.

Finding time for aerobic and healthy exercise.

Other tricks to finding time for exercise.
Write down what you watch and how long you watch TV for. Then
figure out why! Then decide the best time to switch the TV off. 
Record how much work you do at home.
An employer has no right to your lunch time or your free time. They
are not entitled to an explanation as to why you cannot do a task
which is so important to them now. You do not have to give an
excuse for being out at lunch time, or for leaving at 5 p.m. if that is
your scheduled finish time. 
Exercise while your children are doing their sport. You’ll be back in
time to cheer them on during the rest of the game.
Take the children with you on your walks. Listen to the highlights of
their day while starting them on an exercise program. Children who
exercise, just like adults who exercise, are less likely to do
drugs...both the illegal and the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol.
Prepare the lunch time food prior to bedtime; set out the breakfast
things; set your alarm 21 minutes early so that you can make
whoopee. OOPS, I mean to go walking prior to breakfast.
Learn to say no. Set limits on other people using your time.

A study of women who exercised with brisk walking released in August 1999, showed a magnificent decrease in heart attacks. To get the full health gains from exercise, you will eventually need to work up a sweat for 20-30 minutes. Increase intensity slowly, a few minutes per week and you can still make exercise a pleasurable experience.


Exercise heartrate for steady fitness gains
10-20 week walk run program for the 5K and 10K
Weeks 11-20 of walk to jog to running 5K and 10Ks
More health and fitness topics from author and Registered Nurse David Holt
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Copyright David Holt 2,000 Any part, or all of this training material may be quoted or reviewed...provided you acknowledge the source...Running Dialogue and other books by David Holt, this web page or www.runningbook.com, and contact me at holtrun@sprynet.com to let me know the material is being used or reviewed.

David's 5K to marathon training advice at Bigstep web site