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Forever Young Naturally Exercise
131. Aerobic Workout Warming up
As we age, joints lose mobility, tendons stiffen, and muscles shrink. As muscle fibers decrease, they can take longer to respond to stimulus, making injury more likely. Warm up and cool down every time you exercise to reduce risk. Before exercising, spend 7–10 minutes warming large muscles and lubricating joints: shrug and roll your shoulders; circle hips, wrists, and ankles. Bend and straighten your legs a few times. Then add in larger movements that raise the pulse and increase circulation to muscles. March on the spot, swinging your arms, for example.
132. Aerobic Workout Warm up games
Add in coordination tasks to your warm-up, such as walking along a balance beam and raising opposite arms and legs. Write your name in space using different parts of the body hips, shoulder, elbow or follow imaginary paths around a room that twist and turn.
133. Aerobic Workout Think tall
Before starting a movement, think tall, engage the core muscles in your abdomen and pelvic floor and think about maintaining space between each vertebra. Move the crown of your head toward the sky and let this lift your torso. As you breathe in imagine your chest widening, like opening a book from its spine.
134. Aerobic Workout Move like a crab
Try side-to-side movements, such as sideways galloping, grapevine steps, and side lunges. These are challenging for body and brain and so demand greater care and intensity (and burn more calories).
135. Aerobic Workout Working aerobically
After warming up, spend 20 minutes on more strenuous exercise. Take a power walk or jog; step up and down using a stair or fitness step (change the lead foot every minute); cycle at moderate intensity; swim laps; bounce on a mini trampoline; put on music and dance. If at any time you feel pain, faintness, or are uncomfortably out of breath, ease off and start to cool down.
136. Aerobic Workout Lost in music
Listening to music while you exercise helps give you the enthusiasm to keep up the intensity for the full 20 minutes. Download appropriate tunes on your iPod: choose a lightweight version with an armband or belt clip so you don’t have to carry it. Alternatively, make yourself an exercise tape or CD. Choose beats you can move in sync with studies suggest this makes exercisers train at higher intensity and vary the tempo for warming up, high impact work, cooling down and chilling out. During the aerobic section, take the tempo up and down rather than starting slow and getting faster.
137. Aerobic Workout Calculating intensity
For cardio work to be effective you must work at a level of intensity higher than when the body is at rest for at least 20 minutes three times a week. Aim to stay at around 60–75 percent of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your heart rate, buy a monitor or exercise your brain by counting your pulse. Find your pulse at the side of your neck with your first two fingers. Count the beats over six seconds. Multiply by 10 to find out how many beats per minute (BPM). This is your heart rate. A typical 35 year old should keep her heart rate during 20 minutes cardio work between 111 and 138 BPM. This drops to 102–127 BPM by age 50 and to 93–115 BPM by 65.
138. Aerobic Workout Take the talk test
If you can’t talk while exercising, you’re training too hard. When you’re working at your hardest, count out loud to keep within an effective training zone. This is not an excuse for chatting!
139. Aerobic Workout Jumping rope
This is great for concentration and coordination, and for keeping bones strong. Alternate the leading foot, switch to jumping with both feet and turn the rope forward and back. Look ahead, not at the floor. When you feel confident, experiment with fancy footwork. Try jumping rope with children to learn the coolest tricks and rhymes.
140. Aerobic Workout Challenge yourself
Being able to work out intensely may be a key to long life. One study established that people who could achieve a high level of intensity during cardiovascular exercise tended to have increased longevity when compared with exercisers who merely ambled along. Bear this in mind when you feel like giving up.
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