Want a healthy natural glow? Add daily aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise encourages circulation to all parts of the body, including the tiny capillaries of the skin. In combination with a healthy diet rich in fresh colorful foods, exercise promotes heart health, lowers risk for metabolic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Exercise increases strength, improves body composition (fat vs. lean muscle), increases flexibility, improves heart/lung capacity, increases bone density and reduces stress.
A proper exercise program should include 5-6 days of aerobic activity. For those already diagnosed with diabetes, exercise is recommended seven days a week to help control blood sugar levels. Because the body will eventually become used to any perceived exertion, it is important to mix up the exercise routine. For example, three of the six workouts might be moderate in intensity, while the other three workouts can include speed or resistance. For those with sensitive or painful joints, consider using an elliptical machine which offers minimal to low impact and options for intensity.
Moderate aerobics is a steady work out that keeps the heart rate between 60-75% of one’s target heart rate. On the other three days, the workout might be higher in intensity. Achieving this, one might include intervals of speed or resistance. A higher intensity workout equates to about 70-85% of the maximum heart rate. Calculating one’s target heart rate involves a simple formula:
220 - (One’s age) = maximum predicted heart rate (MPHR)
70 to 85 % of MPHR = high intensity target heart rate zone
60 to 75 % of MPHR = moderate intensity target heart rate zone.
People should check in with a health care provider before embarking in any new exercise program. It is likely that exercise will encourage reductions in insulin and blood pressure medication levels. Remember to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to rehydrate. Also, be sure to include a 5 – 10 minute warm-up period before increasing intensity, as well as a ten minute cool down period. The cool down period should bring one’s heart rate down to within ten points of the beginning heart rate. Using the heart rate monitors on most elliptical machines is a good way to monitor before and after numbers.