How Hard Should You Work Out?

How Hard Should You Work Out?

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“How hard do I work out when I’m doing aerobics?” The answer is, it depends. It depends, basically, on whether you are going to be satisfied with health on the one hand or eager to go beyond health to fitness on the other. There is a tendency to glorify fitness.

Here is a tip: Don’t. Because, for the vast majority of us, health is going to be all we ever want or need. It is a noble and deeply worthwhile goal. And it’s simple. All you have to do to achieve the health benefits we’ve talked about (overcoming 70 percent of normal aging and eliminating 50 percent of serious illnesses) is work out for forty-five minutes to an hour at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, four days a week. It may be a struggle to get there if you’ve been idle for a while, but eventually it is going to be easy. And the payoff is enormous.

          But in our experience, a certain number of folks will want to go a little further. That may sound nuts to you now, but later on you may want to explore the world of fitness, which is a different kind of fun.

The Following may help as you read about different levels of aerobic exercise.


ZONE                                                        %OF MAX HEART RATE

Zone One (Long and Slow)                               60-70%

This is a very fast walk or a modest run, for most people. You are breathing deeply but not panting. You can carry on a normal conversation. You feel you could do this for hours, once you’re in decent shape. Chase down that antelope. This is as hard as many of you ever have to go for health.

Zone Two (Endurance)                                     70-80%

You are breathing deeply. You can still talk, but you’re taking some deep breaths. You could do this for a while but not forever; not at the upper reaches, anyway. If you are in great shape, you can do this for a couple of hours. Zones one and Two are variations of the same thing; Zone Two is a more intense level One. Go there when you get in better shape and feel like it.

Zone Three (Interval)                                       80-90%

This is serious business. You are breathing pretty hard now. Talking is possible at the lower reaches of this level, but not at the upper reaches of this level only when you’re in great shape. And your doctor knows what you’re up to. This is fitness country. Mostly you do this level only for “interval” sprints of one to eight minutes, with rests in between. Remember: You never have to do this unless you feel like it.

Zone Four (Fight or Flight)                               90-100%

I don’t recommend going this hard for most people over sixty. This is flat-out. The lion or the robber is closing in, and you are giving it everything you’ve got. You can do this for only a short time, say, sixty seconds. Watch it! You can hurt yourself.

This Article is taken from Younger Next Year

Written by Arshad. A

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