Exercise Programs for Optimal Weight Loss and Health

A structured physical activity or exercise programs can be of considerable benefit given the physical declines associated with aging.

The following section is intended to provide accurate, practical information regarding exercise programs and the adoption and continuation of physical activity and its importance to people of all ages.

The Aging Body

As we age, a great number of structural and functional transformations occur leading to a decline in "optimal" physical capacity.

While our level of activity affects some of these changes, others bear little relationship to the quantity of exercise performed.

Age-related changes in skin composition (texture, etc.), vision, hair color, hearing, etc. take place irrespective of an individual's level of physical fitness.

However, other factors such as breathing capacity, heart function, muscle strength, etc. are heavily influenced by one's level of fitness.

The Body's Response to Exercise Programs

The human body generally responds well to physical exercise and substantial improvements may be anticipated in heart and lung function, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and one's ability to respond to stimuli.

Some of the more noticeable changes of a professionally designed exercise program may include:

Increased bone strength;
Increased physical work capacity (one's ability to perform physical work);
Increased joint range of motion or flexibility;
Improved sense of well being;
Increased muscular strength;
Improved glucose regulation (very favorable for diabetics);
Decreased blood pressure;
Improved sleep patterns and levels of anxiety.

Indeed, exercise can have a profound effect upon older persons with the most "unfit" usually experiencing the greatest benefits.

The Exercise Programs

When prescribing exercise, health professionals will usually talk about 3 important factors, namely: intensity, duration and frequency.

Intensity

The intensity of exercise refers to the amount of effort put into an exercise. Intensity is usually measured by assessing the heart rate during exercise. As a general rule, the intensity of exercise should not exceed certain limits. If monitoring heart rate use the simple equation - 200 minus your age (in years) to estimate the working heart rate you should remain under.

Of course listening to your own body' can be just as important and reliable in determining whether or not you are exercising at a sufficient intensity. Accordingly, a feeling of mild fatigue should be your aim immediately following a bout of exercise.

There are many other techniques used to determine exercise intensity and 2 time Author and Fitness Expert, Johnnie D. Jackow Sr. will explain this in your program.

Duration of Your Exercise Program

The duration of exercise refers to the actual time spent performing an activity. It is generally accepted that to improve cardiorespiratory or "heart" fitness you should aim to achieve 30 minutes of exercise on most (if not all) days of the week.

However, recent studies have shown that favorable "health" benefits can be achieved from as little as 5 minutes continuous exercise, repeated several times per day.

Again, since every person is different our team of professionals will determine which exercise program will work best for your particular needs and goals.

Frequency

The frequency of exercise refers to the number of occasions per week that activity should be undertaken.

The accepted frequency, in order to achieve cardiorespiratory or "heart" fitness is 3 to 5 sessions per week. However, positive benefits have been shown to occur from as little as 2 sessions per week.

The most important element of exercise prescription is the notion that activity should become a "life-long" habit and not merely a passing "fad".