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imply Well

Move for the Health of It—Do Something Aerobic

© John W Travis MD, MPH

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Simply Well by John W Travis MD, MPH. View all columns in series

If you are not in the habit of exercising regularly, you may hear the word "aerobics," and immediately see visions of thin, tight bodies in coordinated workout gear, or think with dread about running. Don’t be discouraged. A wellness approach to exercise is not that limited.

Heart Rates
Age Minimum HR Maximum HR
20 120 160
22 119 158
24 118 157
26 116 155
28 115 154
30 114 152
32 113 150
34 112 149
36 110 147
40 108 144
38 109 146
50 102 136
45 105 140
55 99 132
60 96 128
65 93 124
75 87 116
70 90 120
80 84 112

Design Your Own Program
Every body is different, and every psyche is different too. If you have resisted exercise in the past but know that it’s time for a change, it is especially important that you design a program you can live with and stay with—a gentle, step-by-step program that will appeal to your fun- loving inner child or provide companionship or quiet time alone, depending on your needs and desires. Jogging or running are definitely not the only ways to move your body. Consider these other forms of aerobic exercise:

    * dancing of all kinds (even ballroom dancing can elevate the heart rate)
    * swimming and other water programs, including aerobics for nonswimmers
    * walking, walking, walking, walking, walking
    * hiking and climbing
    * bicycling
    * skipping, jumping rope, or jumping on a trampoline
    * calisthenics and weight training
    * rowing
    * tennis and other ball sports
    * using indoor equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, or rowing machines
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About The Author
John W. Travis, MD, MPH, is the creator of the Wellness Inventory and its parent, the Wellness Index. He is the founder and co-director of Wellness Associates, a consulting and publishing group whose mission is to transform the culture from its current focus on authoritarianism/domination into......more
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