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The current exercise training guidelines for health is moderate activity taken 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes in duration, but is this enough?

For those who are completely inactive then yes. Health benefits have been shown to occur when those who were previously inactive make these changes. Research has shown that the greatest improvements are often seen when the previously inactive person starts an exercise training programme.

The benefits they experience when using the above guidelines are normally only in relation to their health. Some of the health benefits that are often reported are a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and for the diabetic better control of blood sugar levels. Probably the best immediate benefit that is experienced is the feeling of well being after taking some aerobic exercise.

After about six weeks the body will begin to plateau off as it gets used to the activity being done and the initial gains made will not continue. This is where thinking about making a change to the exercise or activity will make a difference. When deciding to change the exercise the following questions should be considered.

. Is the activity being done always the same?
. What sort of intensity is the activity, how hard does it feel?
. How long does the activity last?

Fresh goals need to be set so as to continually challenge the body to make improvements. This does not necessarily mean having to making it harder.

For an older person jogging or running may not be a suitable activity but walking is accessible to all. If the exercise done is a 30 minute walk but always done at the same speed, then by breaking it up by doing short bursts of brisk walking, or walking briskly up an incline, would be a great place to start to make the changes. Making these small changes will create an increase in the demand for oxygen, which will then improve aerobic fitness. The time exercising will remain the same, but the distance covered will be more.

By slightly altering the exercise training programme will not only help prevent overuse injuries from occurring but will also continue to challenge the body to adapt to those changes. It is when increases in the intensity from moderate to a more vigorous level, or from short exercise sessions to longer sessions, that fitness benefits will be seen.

It can start by simply doing ten minutes more a day and the exercise training can be done at home as well. Always doing the same exercise is not good for you, change is.

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