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Some Elements of Exercise

Frequency and intensity

If you’re interested in the health benefits of exercise, you should aim to exercise at least three times per week at about half your maximum capacity.

The best way to judge your exercise intensity is by comparing your exercising heart rate with your maximum heart rate, which you can estimate by subtracting your age from 220 beats per minute and multiplying the resulting number by 65%. (Or just fill in the blanks: 220-age x .65 = half your maximum capacity, in beats per minute.)

When you’re exercising, check your pulse, count how many times your heart beats in 10 seconds and multiply that by six to get the number of times it beats in a minute. Compare that number to the one you worked out with the formula above.

Cool down

Just as it’s important to warm up and prepare yourself for physical exertion, it’s also important to cool down by gradually reducing your exercise intensity. When some people suddenly stop exercising, blood pools in their legs, leading to fainting and possibly heart problems. You should take about 10 minutes to cool down, or as long as it takes for your skin to return to its normal temperature.

Overload, specificity and progression

In order to improve your physical fitness, you must constantly place higher demands on the appropriate body parts. The principle of overload simply means that the body responds to increased demands by adapting, which can help you improve your aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.