Personal trainer Johnathan “JRod” Rodriguez gives his top tips.
Staying active is one of the most important ingredients for living a healthy life. This becomes particularly important as you get older. You want to stay strong, keep your heart healthy, and maintain a balanced weight. The trick is to find something you enjoy doing and then not be afraid to mix it up. Here are some simple strategies you can use to get active and stay active.
1. TAKE IT SLOW
If you haven’t been active in several years, start out slow. Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise pro- gram, as there may be precautions you should take. In general, you’ll want to start out with sessions of only five or ten minutes. You can gradually increase the length of your sessions over time.
2. EXERCISE THIRTY MINUTES
Your goal for physical activity should be thirty minutes each day. Remember three ten-minute sessions are just as good as one long session. So you could dance ten minutes while you get ready for the day, walk ten minutes to work and then take a ten-minute bike ride before dinner. Of course, more exercise is fine as long as you take precautions to avoid injury. It’s better to work out a little less one day if it will help you do it again the next.
3. WORK YOUR MUSCLES
You need more than aerobic exercise. Resistance training or weight lifting is also important. This type of exercise helps strengthen your muscles and bones and improve your balance and coordination while also reducing your risk for osteoporosis. Not sure how to get started? Hire a trainer for a one-time session. If you write down the routine, you can refer to it later. Also keep track of your progress.
4. EXERCISES THAT CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE
Home-friendly workouts that require little or no special equipment include:
• walking or jogging
• jumping rope
• weight training with found objects (bags of beans, a heavy book, a water bottle)
• jumping jacks
Stretching after a workout should always be part of your routine. Stretching improves flexibility and range of motion. It may also cut down your risk of injury or muscle cramps while also improving circulation throughout the body. If you need guidance on the best ways to stretch, ask a trainer for a quick tutorial.
Named “Best Personal Trainer” two years in a row by the Inquirer & Mirror, Johnathan Rodriguez offers his fitness expertise at The Nantucket Club.