Healthy Lifestyles: Exercise

It is important to exercise on a regular basis. People enjoy working out because of physical/personal, social, or psychological reasons. They might want to improve their health and body shape in order to look and feel good and appreciate themselves. They also might want to relieve stress and physically challenge themselves. People also exercise because it’s fun for them to be a part of a team and make friendships.

Exercising gets your heart rate up. Your heart rate is how many times your heart beats per minute. Everyone’s heart rate is different because everyone lives their lives differently. In order to find your heart rate, you need to find your pulse at your risk or neck, and then count how many beats there are in 6 seconds and multiply that by ten. Your maximum heart rate is 220-age, and you should not exceed this while exercising. It is important to monitor your heart when exercising so you know what fitness zone you are in and so you don’t overwork yourself. The fitness zones being:

  • Warm up and Recovery: 50-60% of max heart rate. This helps with recovery and weight loss and is a very light exercise.

  • Aerobic Development: 60-70% of max heart rate. This improves basic endurance and weight loss / fat burning and is a light exercise.

  • Aerobic Endurance: 70-80% of max heart rate. This improves aerobic fitness and is a moderate exercise.

  • Anaerobic Endurance: 80-90% of max heart rate. This increases maximum performance capacity for shorter sessions.

  • Anaerobic Max Performance Capacity: 90-100% of max heart rate. This helps fit athletes develop sport specific stuff such as speed and power.

These are the 5 specific fitness zones you should be working out in depending on the activities you choose and the specific goals you are trying to achieve.

There are three types of activities everyone should focus on and each one has it’s own health benefits. They are:

  1. Aerobic activities

  2. Muscle strengthening activities

  3. Bone strengthening activities

Aerobics: Aerobic activities are those in which young people rhythmically move their large muscles. Running, hopping, skipping, jumping rope, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all examples of aerobic activities. Aerobic activities increase cardio respiratory fitness. Children and adolescents should be doing 60+ minutes of aerobic activities at least 3 days a week.

Muscle Strengthening: Muscle-strengthening activities make muscles do more work than usual during activities of daily life. This is called “overload,” and it strengthens the muscles. Muscle-strengthening activities can be unstructured and part of play, such as playing on playground equipment, climbing trees, and playing tug-of-war. Or these activities can be structured, such as lifting weights or working with resistance bands. Children and adolescents should be doing 60+ minutes of muscle strengthening activities at least 3 days a week.

Bone Strength: Bone-strengthening activities produce a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength. This force is commonly produced by impact with the ground. Running, jumping rope, basketball, tennis, and hopscotch are all examples of bone-strengthening activities. As these examples illustrate, bone-strengthening activities can also be aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Children and adolescents should be doing 60+ minutes of bone strengthening activities at least 3 days a week.

It is important that everyone is encouraged to participate in all physical activities that they enjoy and is appropriate for their age, while offering variety.

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