The Exercise Plan Everyone Can Follow

ID-10078561If you don’t have some type of personal exercise program, the odds of maintaining your ideal weight by diet alone is slim. I like to use the simple example of a Brown University study, where two groups of overweight women were compared. One group dieted and exercised while the other group only dieted. The group that dieted and exercised lost almost twice the weight than the ones who did not exercise.

However, few realize the benefits of exercise beyond calorie burning. These benefits include:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • strengthening your heart
  • increasing HDL cholesterol
  • reducing incidence of diabetes, dementia, and certain cancers

The benefits go on and on. Yet, over half of American’s are completely sedentary. I suggest aerobic exercise, 30 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week, whether you are walking or jogging. You can easily calculate the intensity you should strive for with the formula below:

  • Take the number 220, and subtract your age =  _____ your maximum heart rate
  • Multiply your maximum heart rate by .80 =  _____ your target heart rate

This number reflects the pulse rate you should maintain while exercising to ensure optimal cardiovascular function. You can verify your heart rate while exercising by taking your pulse for 15 seconds. Multiply this rate x 4 to estimate your heart rate per minute. Another option is to use a handy heart rate monitoring watch.

Your exercise program should be of your own design because everyone is different physically and may choose different exercise routines. In “Prescription for Life,” I’ve included a general that anyone can plug in to. It doesn’t matter so much where you start as that you start.




“Runner” photo courtesy of DavidCastilloDominici at