Developing Your Anti-aging Workout Routine

By: Alien

It's now time to design your sample weekly fitness program. Decide on which days you'll exercise and on which you'll rest. Decide which activities you'll do on each day and for how long.

Remember, you need three to five cardio workouts of varying intensity and duration. You should ensure you include a bit of interval, agility and balance training within your routine. You also need two muscle?conditioning workouts that will involve exercises for your lower body, upper body and torso. Ensure you save lots of time to stretch and relax. Oh, yeah, and don't forget your Kegels and you-know-what once a week.

When designing your program, it is imperative that you set an ideal and a maintenance goal. For example, your ideal cardiovascular goal may be five workouts per week, but your minimal goal will take into consideration weeks when you are really busy at work, not feeling so hot or away on holiday. This will prevent you from getting off track and backsliding. This maintenance goal will be the minimal exercise you will commit to, even if life is rough. This will ensure that you maintain your level of fitness. Generally, if you manage to do one good, high?intensity cardio- and muscle-conditioning workout in a week when things are crazy you will maintain your fitness, provided you maintain your program during weeks in which events cut you more slack. Take the time now to record your ideal exercise goal and your maintenance exercise goal.

Ideal Goal

Maintenance Goal

I suggest you review your program design every four to eight weeks. Make some changes. Introduce a new activity. Learn some new exercises. Change the order and sequencing of your workout days; this is where the investment in seeing a personal fitness trainer for a couple sessions will payoff. Don't make the mistake of designing one program and relying on it for improved health and fitness for years to come. Regular change, a minimum of every two months, is fundamental to ongoing progress.

Should You Work Out if You're Not Feeling Well?

Whether to work out while unwell concerns many exercisers. Although more research is needed, the general guideline is that if you have symptoms of a common cold, with no fever and all symptoms above the neck, moderate exercise such as walking should be okay. However, if your symptoms include fever, extreme tiredness, muscle aches or swollen lymph glands you should refrain from exercise until you get better. When you do start exercising again, progress slowly and gently. Even if you do have to take a week or two off because you're feeling under the weather, it really won't make that much difference to your ocerall fitness level if you're consistent with your program of the rest of the time.

If you get sick often, why? Is there something you can do about it? Once you've getting exposed to a virus, the likelihood of your getting sick depends on a number of factors, including advanture age, whether you smoke, high levels of stress, poor nutrition and lack of sleep.

Exercisers frequently report that they experience less sickness than their sedentary peers. (The American Council on Exercise reports that 61 per cent of 700 recreational runners studied had fewer colds after they began running, while only four per cent reported the frequency had increased.) During moderate exercise, various immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. So every time you go for a brisk walk your immune system receives a boost that could increase your chances of fighting off respiratory infections.

Exercise won't guarantee that you won't get sick. In fact, sometimes too much exercise can put you at greater risk of developing a virus. A high per centage of marathoners and triathletes get sick immediately after a big event. The theory is that too much exercise may suppress the immune system and make you more susceptible to catching viruses.

Here are some general tips to reduce your odds of getting sick.

Eat well: The immune system depends on many vitamins, minerals and sufficient caloric intake for optimal functioning. Make sure you consume plenty of fruits, vegetables and grain products and drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day.

Get lots of sleep: The American Council on Exercise reports that major sleep disruption (three hours less than normal) has been linked to immune system suppression.

Exercise: Include moderate levels of exercise in your weekly schedule to ensure your immune system receives a regular boost.

Avoid overtraining: Space vigorous workouts and race events as far apart as possible. Allow for adequate recovery periods and rest days.

Your View from Here

When a fit and healthy 19-year-old throws a ball, then sprints across the lawn to retrieve it, she is the picture of a perfectly tuned machine. Neurons fire rapidly, telling muscles to contract and release; lungs take in oxygen almost without effort, while a -strong heart pumps oxygen-rich blood through supple arteries.

What happens to that 19-year-old's body 10 years later, 20 years later, 30 years and more, later if she, like so many of us, gives up chasing balls and begins leading a largely sedentary life? She loses muscle. She loses strength. She is not able to walk up stairs, let alone sprint across the lawn. Her lungs become less adept at taking in oxygen. Her heart weakens. Her bones thin. Her body fat increases, and she tires at the least exertion. She becomes the picture of frail old age.

Is this inevitable? We now know that it's not. Sure, there's not much you can do to stop the graying hair and the wrinkles, but scientists have found the true fountain of youth. It's called exercise, and it can stave off many of the physical changes commonly attributed to aging. A little bit of cardiovascular conditioning, muscle training and good nutrition can preserve muscle tissue, strength, bone density, heart health, energy levels and functional performance. There is no magic pill or drug that can do this for you. Putting one foot in front of the other, making your muscles and heart and lungs work is the key. If you don't use it, you lose it. So start using it and not only will you not lose it, you may be surprised at how much you actually gain!

Good luck and stay fit - physically, mentally and spiritually!

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