Exercise is necessary for fitness. A good exercise program will lengthen your life, keep your joints flexible, improve your appearance, build self confidence, help delay the aging process and protect your heart, if you do a moderate level of physical activity daily. Also, if you don't use your joints, they'll tighten up with age to create the bent and worn out appearance that most people associate with old age.

Forms or Types of Exercise

Certain exercises are categorized based on the energy pathways that are utilized during exercise. Some exercises need oxygen while others do not need oxygen. The following two categories of exercises may be considered:

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic means "with oxygen".  Aerobic exercise is done in such a manner that the body requires large amounts of oxygen to generate energy. This involves moving the body slowly and smoothly. The muscles utilize oxygen to burn fat and glucose to produce energy. The exercise is performed at moderate levels of intensity for an extended period of time. Aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, skiing, rowing, etc. You can do aerobic exercises at home on an exercise bike, treadmill, etc.

The benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise

• Improving lungs by strengthening the muscles involved in respiration.

• Strengthening the heart, improving its pumping efficiency and reducing the resting heart rate, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

• Improving the blood circulation and reduce blood pressure.

• Increasing the number of red blood cells.

Walk 100 steps a minute for good health

Researchers at the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, San Diego State University, recommend (the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain to meet the minimum of the moderate-intensity guideline. Because health benefits can be achieved with exercise lasting at least 10 minutes, a useful starting point is to walk 1000 steps in 10 minutes.  

AnAerobic Exercise

Anaerobic means "no oxygen". The anaerobic exercise is performed at high levels of intensity for short period of time. During anaerobic exercise, the muscles don’t require large amounts of oxygen, but metabolizes muscle glycogen to produce power. Anaerobic exercises involve resistance training or strength training and weight lifting. One of the important advantages of anaerobic exercises is that these don't hurt the body joints as these are usually non-impact exercises. Just keep in mind that while trying to loose weight, you should avoid loosing weight as it will make your weight loss process extremely hard. Loose the weight first and then lift weights after.

Safe Exercise For You

The safest form of exercise is regular walking. Other forms of physical activities good for your heart that uses the large muscle groups are: running, jogging, swimming, bicycle riding, rowing, mowing, dancing, taking stairs, etc. While exercising, keep an eye on your Heart Rate.

• Spend 10-15 minutes each day in brisk walking.

• Park your car 10 minutes from work and walk. Make little changes in your habits.

• Get off the bus or train 1 or 2 stops early and walk that last part.

• Take the stairs instead of elevator or escalators.

• Don't look for excuses for not doing any physical activity.

Warning for those who exercise for the first time

If exercise causes discomfort, causes pain in your chest or your heart, makes you breathless or makes you breath too fast, stop immediately and see your Doctor. You also need to get advise from your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you:

• have heart disease

• are overweight

• have had a stroke

• have high blood pressure

• are a male over 35 years old or female over 45 years old.

Before, during or after exercise (walking)

• Drink 8 ounces of water before you start walking or exercising. Replace fluid during and after you exercise by drinking 8 ounces of water or natural fruit juice. 

• Avoid drinks like tea, coffee or alcohol as these can cause your body to lose fluid.

• Wear comfortable clothing.

• It is very important to wear shoes made for walking or running, otherwise you may harm your leg bones as a lot og pressure is exerted on the leg bones during walking, jogging or running.

• Relax while you walk, take deep breaths, listen to music or think about things you love or enjoy.

• Warm up or stretch before you start the activity, and cool down with stretching after to prevent your muscles from locking up on you.