Friday, April 3, 2009

Warm Up or Beginner's Workout?

An 1800 depiction of jumping ropeImage via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia
I was reading an article about the proper way to exercise. It goes something like this:

Cardio (3X A Week)
5 minutes warm up (brisk walking, jump rope, etc)
30 minutes cardio (running, swimming, etc)
10 minutes cool down (stretching)

Weight Training (2X A Week)
5 minutes warm up (brisk walking, jump rope, etc)
30 minutes weight training (free weights, machines, etc)
10 minutes cool down (stretching)

The first thing that struck me about this list is that it must be an ultimate goal, not an outline for a beginning exerciser, because there is no way I'm going to be able to do any of this. Jump rope for 5 minutes? As a warm up? I can barely jump rope for 2 minutes total exercise for the day! (Yes, I know I'm woefully out of shape.)

To be honest, it looks like a fine regimen, but for someone like me, that can barely make it through a walk in the park without sitting down, it's discouraging.

I'll keep the list, but for now I'm going to put it away, out of sight. I can't aspire to that right now. I'm going to hyper-focus my goal to just this month and see what I can do. For this month, my goal is to build up my endurance to be able to exercise at 60% of my maximum heart rate for 15 continuous minutes. For me, that would equal 5 minutes of warm up, 5 minutes of cardio or strength training, and 5 minutes of cool-down stretching.


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