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Daily physical activity is important for your health.
The idea of "most beneficial exercise" can be subjective, but there are types of exercise beneficial to everyone. Including some of these in your fitness regimen will help you with fitness goals while promoting good health and quality of life. Before you start an exercise plan, consult your doctor to ensure it will be safe and effective.
Cardiovascular activities are the most beneficial exercises for heart health, weight loss and avoidance of many obesity-related illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. A range of 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lower end of the range may or may not help you lose weight, but it will benefit your heart health. Increasing your weekly exercise amount can help kick those excess pounds to the curb. Choose cardio activities you enjoy, such as jogging, biking, walking, playing a favorite sport or taking a fitness class at the health club. Always warm up and cool down for five to 10 minutes before and after each aerobic workout.
Muscle strength and bone density become increasingly important as you age. Strength training exercises are most beneficial for maintaining your muscle mass and bone strength. While you can also use resistance exercises to get a bodybuilder physique, your muscle and bone health will benefit by engaging in weight-bearing exercises two to three times per week, for 20 minutes per session. Strength training benefits you by preventing bone injury later in life and helping you boost your metabolism to avoid midlife weight gain. When strength training with weights, use a weight that fatigues your muscles by the 12th repetition of each exercise. Once the weight becomes easy to lift, increase by 5 percent to 10 percent to keep your muscles challenged.
Flexibility exercises, such as strength training, should be done two to three times per week. You can perform them during 10-minute sessions or after your regular aerobic workout. Stretching is one of the most beneficial exercises for you because it keeps muscles loose and limber, promotes full range of motion and allows you to continue enjoying everyday activities as you age. When stretching, ease into each stretch, and then hold for 10 to 30 seconds without bouncing.
Creating a Customized Exercise Plan
Meet with your physician to assess your health and physical fitness needs. Together, you can determine which types and amounts of exercise would be most beneficial for you. To lose weight, you'll likely create a plan that includes lots of aerobic exercise with strength training. For weight training, your plan might consist of strength training every other day and aerobic exercises only three times weekly. Those who need to increase range of motion will do more flexibility exercises than others. A customized plan will help you meet individual goals by including the most beneficial exercises for you.