By now we are well into 2022 and for those that are still tackling their New Year’s Resolutions — keep at it! For those that are looking to gear up for summer, getting back into a fitness routine can be a great way to look good and feel good.
But for those that haven’t been as active or consistent as they would have liked and are looking to ramp up their physical activity routine or improve their heart health, it’s important to start slow. While jumping back into an exercise routine after a long break can seem tempting, it’s important to first establish a baseline of fitness. First and foremost, consulting with your physician is always the best way to establish a true gauge of your health. In general, it’s best to start slow with a routine to improve your heart health.
One method to implement into your exercise routine would be to use moderate cardiovascular exercises. A cardiovascular routine is one in which you move continually for a minimum of 30 minutes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that these exercises be performed three to five times per week. These types of exercises include a brisk walk (a great way to start), jogging, bicycling, doing the treadmill, taking a spin class or any other exercise that gets the heart pumping. John Hopkins Medicine website states that “brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis and jumping rope” are all idea aerobic exercises that improve circulation, increases overall aerobic fitness, reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and helps those with diabetes control blood glucose. Other of moderate cardiovascular exercises are water aerobics and circuit weight training.
While exercising, it’s also important to know your Target Heart Range (THR). This can be achieved by using the traditional method of 220-your age. This indicates your Max Heart Rate (MHR). From here, multiply your MHR by .5 and .7 (50-70% of MHR) and you will have your ‘sweet spot’ for optimal performance. Maintain this range for the allotted 30 minutes, if possible.
Your heart rate can be steadily monitored by fitness trackers, cardiovascular machines or by simply taking it at your wrist (on the thumb side) for 60 seconds. However, remember that these numbers are simply a guide. Always listen to your body while exercising for any issues that may arise. Many options for a person of any age to have success in achieving better heart health.
However, no exercise routine is successful if isn’t routine. Consistency is the key. Try making mini goals each week — starting with getting to the gym two to three time a week. Ultimately whether you want to work out 4 days a week or 7, build your way up slowly. Schedule in a workout just like you would any other business or personal appointment. And commit to yourself and your health. Working out on a regular basis has so many amazing benefits for mind and body. So don’t consider working out a chore but rather an opportunity. Routine exercise can boost your mood, help you sleep better and it’s a great way to connect with new people.
Forming a social habit around exercise is another great way to ensure accountability and to get that workout in! So why not play a round of tennis with a friend or set up a game of hoops. Exercise can be — and should be — fun! For a little dash of healthy competition and some added motivation, set up some challenges with yourself or some workout buddies!
And of course, you’re always welcome to ask any questions from any of our trainers at the Village. See you soon!
About the Author
Chris grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from East Stroudsburg University, where he competed as a Track & Field athlete and was involved with many different social groups on campus. It was there where he first realized his potential to make a positive impact on people, both physically and mentally through his ability to achieve a genuine connection with others. He is a sports fanatic and will watch all teams, but he is a Philly fan through and through. He enjoys traveling with his wife, he is a sneakerhead (loves his kicks) and loves classic hip hop and R&B music. Cool fact: his Grand Uncle played in the Negro Baseball League in the 1940’s for the Oakland Larks.