Stage One: Get Moving
Every day, you should be on your feet for at least one hour moving around, using the large muscles of the legs while walking, climbing stairs, working in the garden, shuttling about the kitchen, playing with the children, pushing a shopping cart through the supermarket, walking from the train station to your office, purposefully strolling about on your lunch hour, or just about anything but sitting quietly in front of a TV. This need not be continuous activity, nor is it necessary to work up a sweat. What’s important is that you are up on your feet moving about every day and, through the course of a day, accumulate at least 60 minutes of activity.
At first glance, this doesn’t sound like all that much, and for some, it’s not, but in our sedentary society, it can take some planning and determination to achieve even that amount of activity. Certainly if you’ve had problems in the past sticking with activity, you may need to employ some specific strategies for increasing your Stage One level of activity.
Stage Two: Break a Sweat
Once you’ve become accustomed to being up and “puttering about” at least an hour a day, you should begin to add moderate activities to your weekly routine that eventually total at least 30 additional minutes, three times a week. Unlike Stage One activities, which you’ll be able to achieve by simply getting through the day, Stage Two activities typically are deliberate and planned. These activities are primarily what we think of as recreational activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobic dance, or court sports. These activities should be sustained for 30 minutes or longer, they should be continuous, and they should be done at an intensity that brings a bit of sweat to your brow, raises your heart rate, and has you breathing more deeply.
Find out more about this book:Lifefit: An Effective Exercise Program for Optimal Health and a Longer Life