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Exercise: Adding Intensity

Once you get the hang of exercising 30 minutes most days of the week, you can move on to the next stage. Do this by increasing the intensity. This means doing your activity in one or more of these ways:

Mature couple jogging together.

  • Longer: Do 30 minutes or more without a break instead of 10 minutes several times a day.

  • Faster: Hike, run, or skate fast enough to raise your heart rate moderately—as if you had walked fast to catch a bus.

  • More often: Take part in your activity 4–6 times a week instead of 1–3 times.

Safety First

Whatever your activity, think about safety needs:

  • Wear the right safety gear and shoes for your activity.

  • Drink plenty of water during and after workouts.

  • Wear light-colored clothing if you’re out when it’s dark.

  • Carry ID with you if you’re out alone. And be sure someone knows where you’re going.

  • If you’re on foot, travel against traffic (except on blind corners). If you’re on a bike, go with traffic, obeying automobile signals and traffic flow.

Not Just Gym Class

In the past, researchers said you needed to do set amounts of formal exercise at a certain pace to achieve health and fitness results. That’s still fine, but it’s not the only way to get results.

You can reach your health and fitness goals with:

  • Team sports, like basketball or soccer.

  • Social or recreational activities, like hiking or dancing.

  • Individual exercise, like cycling, swimming, or skating.

  • Group fitness classes, like aerobic classes or weight training.

Tips for Sticking With It

  • Find a workout partner or sports club. If you know someone is expecting you, you’ll be less likely to skip your workout.

  • Pack a workout bag with everything you need. Then it’s ready when you are.

  • Choose a variety of activities so you’ll stay interested. Make it fun!

What will help you to stick with it?

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