Getting Started, Adding Time To Your Workout, Building Endurance
How long has it been since you were in good physical shape?
How long since you could walk around the block and not be out of breath?
It is extremely important that when you finally make the decision to “get in shape” as they say, that you do it gradually, starting off slowly and then eventually adding both time and intensity to your workouts.
You are not going to go from not working out for the last 10-20 years, to jogging for 5 miles in a week. You must slowly advance your workout routine over a period of weeks and months in order to gain back the physical fitness you have lost over time. If you start off too quickly, you will immediately become disappointed and dissatisfied with your performance and likely stop – and that is not what you need.
So, start by simply walking – either outside in your neighborhood, or at the gym on a treadmill. Start slowly for about 20 minutes at a time. Then slowly speed up and add 5-10 minutes at a time to increase your breathing and heart rate. Again – slowly.
You can then vary your routine as to not get bored, by alternating various cardio machines at the gym: rowing, stair steps, ellipticals, etc. But remember that you are slowly adding time and intensity to the workout on generally a weekly basis.
A good rate to follow is once you are plateaued at a particular pace, add 10 minutes at a time. NOTE: The older you are, the more slowly you need to advance.
You might purchase a heart rate monitor to aid in knowing when to advance your workout over time. The goal is to slowly push yourself to higher and higher rates of heart beats and breaths over time, until you reach a level you are comfortable with, and then maintaining that level over time.
A SIDE NOTE: Adding some weight training to your weekly routine will help you build overall physical fitness because cardio and weight training go hand in hand. But you need to start with gaining back your basic cardio physical fitness. In other words, you need to be able to go for a long walk at a increased pace without being completely out of breath and unable to talk normally.