Posted by: 4pack | July 15, 2009

“Ideal Fitness”: More Exercise Studies Pointing To Value Of “Vigorous” Exercise Regimens That Focus On Flexibility, Coordination, Strength, Speed And Endurance

Exercise science hasn't changed much in recent decades; experts still say people need to be moderately to vigorously active and develop strength and flexibility.

Exercise science hasn't changed much in recent decades; experts still say people need to be moderately to vigorously active and develop strength and flexibility.

When 58-year-old Larry Durstine was younger, he could run four miles in 20 minutes–an impressive pace given that only elite runners tend to average sub-four-minute miles. But these days Durstine, who knows a thing or two about fitness since he’s chair of the department of exercise science at the University of South Carolina, has different goals.

“I used to get five to 10 miles in an hour each day, but my benchmarks have changed,” Durstine says. Nowadays, however, he’s satisfied to squeeze in whatever exercise, whenever he can.

In Depth: Fitness Goals That Matter Most

It’s practical, and might even sound boring, but Durstine enjoys the challenge of finding ways to be active, whether that means waking up at 5:30 a.m. to run 2 miles, parking his car a mile from his campus office for the long walks or planning a 20-minute session of 300 sit-ups and 120 push-ups.

Regular activities like these, plus frequent flexibility and coordination exercises, help the body become limber and strong, as well as capable of speed and cardiovascular endurance. Trends may come and go, but the foundation of good physical health rests on these principles. And working toward each of the goals–flexibility, coordination, strength, speed and endurance–is possible with a little time management, creative thinking and education.

Getting It Done
Exercise science hasn’t changed much in recent decades; experts still say people need to be moderately to vigorously active and develop strength and flexibility. Ideally, you should spend at least 30 minutes a day, five days out of the week on cardiovascular conditioning. Additional time, about 20 minutes, should be allotted for strength-training exercises twice a week. Finally, flexibility exercises can be done in eight to 10 minutes three times a week.

Maximizing the Benefits
Another of Heil’s hard-won lessons has been learning how to exercise more efficiently, which is key to incorporating the various fundamentals into a fitness regimen.

When improving speed and cardiovascular endurance, for example, it’s important to use your heart rate as a baseline for goal-setting. A general rule of thumb is to subtract your age from the number 210. Fifty percent of this amount is the maximum heart rate for fat-burning, while 70% to 85% of that amount is ideal for cardiovascular fitness.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/15/important-fitness-goals-lifestyle-health-fitness.html

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