New This Month

Easy Exercises

The Martha Stewart Show

To jump-start your New Year, follow these exercise tips to keep yourself feeling and looking healthy. Note: Before beginning this or any exercise regimen, consult your doctor.

Cardiovascular Exercise
Mary Tedesco recommends that everyone get 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise four to five times a week. When working out, you should raise your target heart rate (approximately 65 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate) for at least 20 minutes of the workout.

To calculate the low end of your target-heart-rate range, subtract your age from 220, and multiply this number by 0.65. For the top end of the range, multiply by 0.85. Your heart rate during a workout should be between these numbers. For example, a 40-year-old would have a target heart rate of between 117 and 212. Mary notes that you should not go above the 85 percent rate, since this throws the body into an anaerobic state that does not burn fat.

Warm-Up and Stretching
Mary says you can do some light stretching and arm rotations, but a warm-up can simply consist of a slow introduction to your regular workout activity. If you want to walk on a treadmill, for example, walk more slowly for the first five minutes, and then speed it up. Likewise for the rowing machine -- start slowly and after five minutes, you can take it up a level. This will count as your warm-up.

It's important to stretch after every workout, and it's a great way to keep yourself limber, which can help you avoid injury. Mary loves to incorporate relaxing breathing into the stretching routine, which helps the body cool down after the cardiovascular workout and allows it to relax into the stretches.

Toning Muscles
Toning is a very important but often overlooked part of a workout. Weight and resistance training does many things for you, including increasing your metabolism and bone density (and thus helping to prevent osteoporosis).

-Pelvic tilt with pullover: midsection, triceps, and upper and lower back
-Squats with bicep curls: legs (gluteus and thighs) and biceps
-Side bends with biceps: lateral abdominal muscles and biceps
-Calf raise with press back: calf and lower legs, upper back, upper arms, and triceps

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Mary Tedesco.

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