THIS WEEK’S “ASK GILAD” BLOG
I am in my late 60's and I am interested in basic fitness. I am not an athlete or a body builder. I just want to keep my body in healthy functioning shape. How much do I need to exercise?
It sounds like you are interested in maintaining a healthy cardio-vascular system for basic day-to-day living. You need aerobic exercise to achieve this. When people think of 'aerobics' the first thing they think of is an organized aerobics class like the ones that I lead. But in reality, any exercise that raises your heart rate and keeps the blood and oxygen flowing is aerobic. Exercises like walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, skiing and most team sports are excellent examples. The amount of time it takes to achieve cardio-vascular fitness is minimal. A half-hour 3 or 4 times a week can do it. The key is not to overdo it. You should keep your heart rate at 60% to 85% of its maximum. Listen to your body. It will tell you when you have reached a good level.
If you can't do 30 minutes of this kind of activity, do what you can. Build up to it. You will be surprised at how soon you will be exercising for a full half hour and longer.
Keep in mind that exercise is addicting. Soon you will be wanting to add toning exercises to your routine as well. Go for it. I think you will like the results. Here's to your health.