Aerobic exercise isn’t just about jumping in and doing it. There are a couple of things you need to do before getting to the meat of the exercise, and there are a couple of things you need to do as you wind down.
Failure to follow these phases can increase the likelihood of getting hurt, which is most definitely not the goal of exercise.
Perform some sort of light exercise for five minutes to give your muscles a chance to warm up. A brisk walk or slow job should do the trick. You’re looking for your heart rate to start climbing a bit and for a light sweat to develop.
After the warmup, its time to stretch the muscles that are going to be used in the exercising. Stretching will reduce the risk of injury. See Lisa Balbach’s guide to stretching exercises for information on how to stretch.
This forms the core of your workout. You’ll want to get your heart rate up to between 60-90% of your maximum heart rate. You want to maintain your heart rate in this zone for at least thirty minutes.
- Cool off