Fitness Does and Donts

About the project 2Do your cardio exercises before or after your strength training?

There’s no “correct” order, but it can make a difference if you have a specific goal in mind. Do cardio first if you want to work on your endurance. Pump iron first if you want to build strength or bigger muscles. The most important thing is to get enough of both types of exercise every week.

Thirty minutes of straight exercise is better than 10 minutes three times a day?

False. It’s fine to train throughout the day. Just stick to a minimum of 10 minutes at a time to get your heart rate up. The CDC recommends you get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity cardio exercise or 75 minutes at vigorous intensity. You can get the same fitness perks in half the time with vigorous exercises. Jog, swim laps, cycle fast, or play a sport that involves a lot of running, for example.

What target heart rate should you aim for during LISS sessions?

50% to 70% of your maximum heart rateHere’s where you’ll really help your ticker. If you’ve just started exercising, aim for the lower end of this range and work your way up. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. To take your pulse, place your fingers on your wrist or on the side of your neck, and count the number of beats in a minute.

Is always water better than sports drinks?

No. H2O is usually the best choice, especially during normal, daily exercise. But if you’re pushing hard for more than an hour, sports drinks can be just as good or better. They give you energy through carbohydrates and replace electrolytes lost through sweat. That helps you work out longer.

Everyone needs to check with their doctor before starting an exercise program

False. Don’t let another excuse keep you from a healthy habit. Most people can go ahead and hit the gym. You should check with your doctor, though, if you:

-Are a man over 45 or a woman over 55, and you plan on doing vigorous workouts.

-Have a heart condition

-Have joint problems like arthritis

-Take blood pressure or heart meds

When you lift weights, you should feel the burn, and tire out your muscles

True. Working your muscles to the point of exhaustion is a good way to strengthen and tone them. Lift until you can’t do the move again. Just be sure to use good form and control the motion.

Each time you lift the weight, it’s called a repetition, or “rep.” Start with one set of 8 to 12 reps. Gradually increase the weight and the number of sets as you get stronger. You can use free weights, resistance bands, or gym machines.

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Barbara Cooper Clarke is Athletifier

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