It can be hard to motivate ourselves to exercise, especially if it's been awhile since our last trip to the gym. Here are answers to some common questions people have about starting (or re-starting) to incorporate physical activity into their weekly routine.
What kind of exercise should I do?
Choose an activity that you enjoy and that you can start slowly and increase gradually as you become used to it. Walking is very popular and does not require special equipment. Other good exercises include swimming, biking, jogging and dancing. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving may also be a good way to start being more active.
How long should I exercise?
Start off exercising 3 times a week for 20 minutes or more, and work up to at least 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. Exercising with a friend or a family member can help make it fun, and having a partner to encourage you can help you stick to it.
How hard should I exercise?
As you become more used to exercising, try to keep your heart rate at about 60% to 85% of your "maximum heart rate."
To figure out your target heart rate, subtract your age (in years) from 220. This is your maximum
heart rate. Now, to calculate your target heart rate, multiply that number by 0.60 or 0.85.
For example, if you are 40 years of age, you would subtract 40 from 220, which would give you a maximum heart rate of 180 (220 - 40 = 180). Then you would multiply this number by either 0.60 or 0.85, which would give you a target heart rate range of 108 to 153 beats per minute. (180 x 0.60=108 and 180 x 0.85=153).