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The Value of Light Exercise
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Henry S Lodge, MD posted:
Whether you're working toward high-level fitness or just looking to maintain your overall health, light exercise is important.

If you're really committed to high-level fitness, which is certainly our hope, light exercise is a key component of your workout plan. Ideally, you're looking at four days a week of hard exercise -- two of strength training, and two of hard aerobics -- as the base of your program, and then two days a week of very light, long duration exercise, like a long walk or easy bike ride. An hour of this light exercise will keep you on track for your fitness goals while giving your body a chance to actively recover from the hard days.

Even if you're not serious about exercise (yet!), light exercise plays a wonderful role in promoting your overall health. Nobody has done truly high-quality studies, but data suggest that walking is, mile for mile, as good for your long-term cardiovascular health as running. ("Mile for mile" is very different than hour for hour. Walking three miles is the same as running three miles, but walking a half hour is definitively not the same as running a half hour).

So, if you are aiming for good physical and mental health, but simply can't get yourself into the harder exercise groove, shoot for walking an hour a day, or the equivalent in any other form of light exercise, and you will have done yourself a world of good.
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deadmanwalking57 responded:
Use a heart rate monitor, and never get out of breath, which indicates your HEART is tired. Its the last place you need lactic acid burn. Something about irritating arteries, and eventual blockage development.

Even light exercise help reduce inflammation from myokines released by active skeletal muscles. Any really hard workout takes from 3 to 5 days for full recovery. Light exercise cuts that time.

Learn about cardiac drift, and use it to just lightly stress your heart. With this kind of training, I can do sports at heart rates that are not thought impossible at my age, and not even be fatigued.

My max heart rate today playing volleyball was 170. Supposedly my max heart rate should be 80% of 220 minus my age. That would be 128. I love being fit. It was very cool last summer to play full court basketball with my heart rate at about 180 for 30 minutes, with people half my age.

I had hernia surgery two months before. Six years before that I had heart bypass surgery.

Don't let just walking be your goal. I'll only walk when I am old. My Mother only walks. She's 91.

Find an activity you enjoy that gets you moving. That's the key.


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