While most everyone agrees exercise is a good thing, few of us make time for it on a regular basis. A portion of the problem is finding the right exercise which both fits our schedule as well as our ability. With time constraints playing a factor in nearly every decision we make, our exercise pattern and program are no different. Which exercises can make the biggest difference in the least amount of time? In short, what gives the most bang for the buck?
The most important thing is to find time to exercise, regardless of what exercise you eventually decide works best for you. Overall, the best exercise for most people is swimming. A swimming routine works a variety of body parts and muscles groups, and perhaps more importantly for many, it is very easy on the joints. Swimming is the ultimate low impact workout. Unfortunately swimming is also one of the hardest routines to stay with. You will need to have access to a year round pool, and then make time to go to that pool on a regular basis.
While running or jogging will burn far more calories, walking is a far better choice for many, again due to lower impact and stress on the joints. A good walking program will be a minimum of 45 minutes walking as least three times a week. You will also want to keep up a good pace. Depending on your age a good pace is four miles per hour. Start slower, and work up to this pace on a period of time. It is normal for your body to be sore when starting a new exercise program, but you should not be sore past the next day. If it takes you two or more days to recover from exercising you are pushing yourself too hard, slow down, and build up at a slower pace.
Vary your exercises in order to avoid boredom. Set up a schedule and do three sets of exercises per session. You should strive to workout four to five times per week. Each workout can be made up of different exercises, or you can alternate exercises from one set to another. Do squats, lunges and crunches one day, then switch to knee bends, deadlifts and jump rope the next. If you have the equipment you can incorporate biking or rowing into your routine as well.
Before beginning any exercise routine you should first consult with your doctor. Tell him/her your workout plans and listen to his/her advice. You want to be certain you are healthy enough to exercise before beginning any exercise regime.