Thinking about signing up for an aquatic exercise class? Or trying water exercises on your own? Check out these pool moves.
Find out how much exercise you need and how to get it.
Get the most benefit from walking by following the four components of a good walking program: 1. Warm up for five minutes. Walk slowly, then increase your pace until you feel warm. 2. Stretch for five minutes. Stretch gently and slowly. Stretch only until you feel a slight tension in the muscle. 3. Walk for at least 30 minutes. 4. Cool down for five minutes. End each walking session by walking slowly, then repeating your stretches. Cooling down gradually reduces stress on your heart and muscles.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking or swimming. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running or aerobic dancing. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. The guidelines also recommend that you do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
Want to get the most out of your workouts? Try interval training! This simply means alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. Take walking. If you're in good shape, try incorporating short bursts of jogging into your regular power walks. If you're less fit, alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. (For example, if you typically walk outdoors, walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or city blocks.) The more vigorously you exercise the more calories you'll burn, even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
For cardiovascular fitness, aerobic exercise can be done in short bursts or longer sessions.
Understanding shoe lingo can help you sort through the many styles and brands of athletic shoes. Here are a few features that can affect fit and function. 1. Gel, foam or air midsole: These materials cushion and reduce impact when your foot strikes the ground. 2. Insole: This cushions and supports your foot and arch. 3. Upper: This holds the shoe on your foot. A mesh upper allows better ventilation than a leather or synthetic upper. 4. Toe box: This is the space for your toes. A roomy toe box helps prevent calluses.
In the market for walking shoes? To find the right fit, try these tips: 1. Wear the same socks shopping that you'll wear when walking. 2. Make sure you have at least a half-inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. 3. Be sure the shoe is wide enough. The side-to-side fit of the shoe should be snug, not tight. 4. Walk a few laps in the store. Make sure your heel fits snugly in each shoe and doesn't slip as you walk.
Walking shoes have features other shoes don't. Learn how to get the best fit.
Athletic shoes should be tailored to your arch type (high arch, neutral arch, low arch). Your arches play an important role in how you adapt to various surfaces as you walk. But there is no one "best shoe" for a particular foot type, and comfort and proper fit should be the main criteria you use.