The Importance of Consistent Cardiovascular Exercise
Getting lean, strong and losing weight are all beneficial effects of a consistent cardiovascular workout program. You should do 30-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks before you start to see the physical benefits of your diet and exercise program. However, you will see almost immediate results in your energy level and overall mental alertness when exercising daily.
Please, start off gradually if you have not trained with much intensity in the past several years. A good way to get started is to walk or run following a six weeks program similar to the one listed below:
Week #1 - Walk/run - 1 mile a day for 5 days a week
Week #2 - Walk/run - 2 miles a day for 5 days a week
Week #3 - Non-impact week - bike or swim for 20-30 minutes a day
Week #4 - Walk/run - 2 miles a day for 5 days a week
Week #5 - Walk/run - 3 miles a day for 4-5 days a week
Week #6 - Walk/run - 4 miles a day for 4-5 days a week
To prevent back soreness and injuries, please do 3 sets of 30 repetitions of your favorite core strengthening exercise daily. You can also try the following;
Plank Exercise: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on your elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3 repetitions
Anytime you work your abs, you should also exercise your lower back to keep your torso in balance. Try the following exercise to strengthen your lower back:
Lower Back Exercise: Lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head. Lift your right arm and your left leg off the ground at the same time and repeat for 20 of repetitions. Switch arms/legs and repeat the exercise for 20 repetitions on the other side. Alternating sides, repeat for 3 complete sets.
Lower Back Exercise – Flutter kicks: Lie on your stomach, arms stretched out in front of you, head looking down, neck in a straight, natural position in alignment with your spine, lift your feet and knees off the floor by flutter-kicking repeatedly as if you were swimming freestyle. Keep kicking for 30 seconds without stopping. Repeat the exercise for 3 sets of 30 seconds each.
Always finish with a good Stretch
Quadriceps Stretch: The quadriceps is the muscle in the front of the thigh, important for lifting your knees and increasing your speed. To do this exercise while standing, simply hold onto a chair with one hand and use the opposite hand to grasp the leg around your ankle, lifting your foot toward your buttocks. Keep your back straight and keep the bent knee, pointing downwards, right next to the knee of the standing leg. Do not slouch forward. Hold for 20 seconds and switch leg. Repeat 3 times.