Do I need a fitness evaluation before I start an exercise program?
How much water should I drink when I exercise?
What is target heart rate? How can I learn to calculate my target heart rate?
Is a heart rate monitor a good buy?
Is there a way to prevent aches in my joints when I exercise?
What kind of clothing should I wear while exercising?
Why is it important to do warm-up and cool-down exercises or stretches?
How do some different activities compare in the amount of calories burned while doing them?
Move To Get Fit
. Do I need a fitness evaluation before I start an exercise program?
. Perhaps. If you haven't already been exercising regularly and have any of the following characteristics, you should check with your doctor for a fitness evaluation. If you ...
- are over 35 and smoke, have diabetes or are at known risk for heart disease
- are over 40 and inactive
- have high blood pressure
- have chest pains or any severe discomfort when you exericse
- have high cholesterol
- have difficulty breathing during mild exertion such as daily-living activities
The fitness evaluation will primarily determine if you're at risk for a heart attack if you exercise. The evaluation may include analyzing your blood for signs of disease, measuring your blood pressure and percent of body fat and measuring the electrical activity of your heart while exercising (an EKG).
. How much water should I drink when I exercise?
. Drink at least one cup for every pound lost during exercise. You may be excited about the weight loss, but it's only a temporary one because you've lost water through perspiration. However, it's very important not to become dehydrated. Your body needs the water. Replace water lost during exercise.
. What is target heart rate? How can I learn to calculate my target heart rate?
. In order to achieve maximum aerobics benefits from your workout, you need to exercise at a certain level of exertion. This level of exertion is called your "target heart rate zone" (THR zone). It's the number of heart beats per minute while exercising. You need to exercise hard enough that your heart rate is within this zone, but not so hard that your heart rate exceeds the top end of the zone. For maximum aerobic benefits, experts recommend that you get 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise where your heart rate falls in this zone at least 2 to 3 times a week.
To calculate your target heart rate zone:
Subtract your age from 220. This equals your maximum heart rate. Multiply maximum heart rate by .60 (60%) to calculate your minimum target heart rate. This is the low end of your target heart rate zone. Multiply your maximum heart rate by .80 (80%) to determine your maximum target heart rate. This is the high end of your target heart rate zone. Your heart rate during exercise should stay within this THR zone.
Age - 220 = Maximum Heart Rate
Max Heart Rate X .60 = Minimum Target Heart Rate (low end of zone)
Max Heart Rate X .80 = Maximum Target Heart Rate (high end of zone)
Note: Your age and whether you have certain medical conditions may mean you should alter your target heart rate zone. The above calculations are for the general, healthy population.
. Is a heart rate monitor a good buy?
. Heart rate monitors make it very convenient to check your heart rate during exercise. Of course, you can check your heart rate by hand, but to do so means you must stop exercising and count your heartbeats. A heart rate monitor receiver is usually worn like a wrist watch, so it is very easy to check the continuous readout while exercising. Also, if you've been warned to be very careful about over-exercising, some heart rate monitors have alarms that sound when your heart rate exceeds a pre-determined level. You'll have to weigh whether the extra convenience justifies their price: most range from $120 to $260.
. Is there a way to prevent aches in my joints when I exercise?
. Talk with your doctor for recommendations regarding specific injuries or medical conditions. But in general, follow these recommendations to keep your joints feeling good during exercise. 1. Keep the supporting muscles, ligaments and tendons well-conditioned. Do stretching and warm-up exercises before exercising and maintain a regular strength training program to increase the muscular strength around the joint, which helps stablize it. 2. Learn the correct way to perform an activity. 3. Wear shoes with the proper support and cushioning for your activity.
. What kind of clothing should I wear while exercising?
. Your shoes are the most important item of clothing. Not to say that you need the most expensive pair on the market, but plan to spend at least $50 for a good pair. Make sure they fit you properly and give the much needed support and cushioning for your exercise. Most shoes lose about a third to half of their cushiony support after about 400 miles of running. Then it's time to replace them. Or if they just don't feel as supportive or if the shoe looks worn down anywhere on the sole, it's time to invest in a new pair. It's best to have a professional evaluate your foot and make recommendations for shoes based on the exercise you'll be participating in.
Otherwise, wear what clothing is comfortable for you. If exercising outdoors in cold weather, wear several layers of clothing so you can remove a layer at a time periodically as your exercise. This will prevent you from overheating.
. Why is it important to do warm-up and cool-down exercises or stretches?
. The main purpose of warming up and cooling down is to reduce your risk of injury. Increasing the blood supply to the working muscles is the best way to "ready" your muscles for your workout.
. How do some different activities compare in the amount of calories burned while doing them?
Move To Get Fit