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by Larry Katzenstein, Ileana L. Piña, AARP VIVA, Spring 2009
Easing into Exercise
You may have been active before. Or perhaps this is the first time you’ve begun an exercise program. Either way, ease into your routine. Remember that you needn’t become a hard-core hardbody in order to get fit. Set and achieve small goals, then build on those successes.
How much exercise is enough? To address that question, the U.S. government issued new dietary and exercise guidelines in 2005. The key recommendation is to “engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.” The guidelines make some more specific recommendations as well:
To summarize: Based on your goals, you should be aiming to accomplish 30 to 90 minutes of brisk exercise on most days—or, ideally, on every day—of the week. That objective may lie several stages away for you at this point. But if you take things one step at a time, you’re bound to succeed.
Sample Walking Program
Follow this walking program for the first 10 weeks, or walk as instructed by your health care provider. To track your progress and see how much you’ve achieved, keep an exercise log.
Walks per week
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