Editor’s Note: This sponsored health and fitness column is written by Virginia Wright, founder of BbG Fitness, which offers group fitness classes around Arlington. Sign up for a free class today.
Most kids are naturally very physically active. Just watch small children for five minutes to see what I mean. But for many of us, aging brings with it a more sedentary lifestyle. While some adults naturally enjoy exercise more than others, we all have to start somewhere.
If you’re new to exercise, don’t be intimidated by the “uberfits” you see running around Arlington at lightening speed, sweating bullets. While these folks really do enjoy it, super high intensity workouts aren’t for everyone. Almost all of us could get there if we really wanted to, but for many the best exercise is one that challenges you, that you enjoy, and that encourages you to keep doing it for the rest of your life — or for as long as you’re physically able!
A good exercise routine combines strength training with cardiovascular training. A recent study from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital confirmed that exercise definitely adds years to our lives. It found: “Physical activity above the minimal recommended level was associated with additional gains in longevity. For example, walking briskly for at least 450 minutes a week (about one hour a day) was associated with a gain of 4.5 years.”
To get physically fit you need at least one goal, you need self discipline and you need determination. What you don’t need is excuses about why you can’t exercise. You don’t need any special equipment either, except for a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes and a watch, preferably with a timer – or you can use your phone.
One other thing you need is a good plan… which I am happy to supply here!
If you’ve been walking regularly your legs are probably already pretty strong. Now it’s time to rev it up a little. How about adding some upper body and core strength? Instead of walking at a steady pace, try interval training. You don’t necessarily need more time, you’ll just be pushing yourself a little harder. Keep your eye out for park benches or curbs you can use for tricep dips along the way.
Please consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Beginners Workout (should take about 30-40 minutes)
Walk easy to warm up x 3 minutes.
Then pick up the pace and pump your arms as you walk faster x 3 minutes.
Easy walk x 2 minutes
Walk strong, as fast as you can (or jog if you’re up for it) x 2 minutes
Ginny Wright has been a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor for more than 10 years. She received her Health Coaching certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York in 2007. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.