Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have a personal trainer
at our beckon call to advise us on what type of exercise we should be doing.
They could set up an exercise program for us and then monitor our progress but
that is not realistic for most people. While you may not be sure of exactly what
type of exercise to do, the important thing is to just get moving.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 30
minutes of physical activity a day but that is the minimum requirement and most
people are advised to shoot for more.
The same government report that says “get moving” advises
that your exercise include a balance of aerobic and anaerobic activity. The main
difference between the two types is the intensity level at which you exercise.
Aerobic exercise is done at a slower pace over a longer period of time while
anaerobic exercise is more intense and done in shorter bursts. An example of
aerobic exercise would be walking on a treadmill and an example of anaerobic
exercise would be lifting weights.
Aerobic activity should be performed every day. A walk or
bike ride at a moderate pace will not put any special strain on the muscles so
there is no need for periods of rest in between unless you are training for a
marathon or triathlon. Aerobic exercise works the heart and is designed to
improve the flow of oxygen to vital organs of the body. The secret is to get
your heart rate up to a quick pace and then keep it there for the duration of
Anaerobic activity is strength training and should only be
done three times a week. Lifting weights is an excellent example of this type of
exercise and between workouts you must give the muscles time to recover.
Completing the nautilus circuit at the gym is an excellent anaerobic exercise,
it will workout all of the major muscle groups. Resistance training is another
way to get the benefits of anaerobic exercise.