It's never too late to begin exercising!
Being fit and active has many physical and mental benefits, this is well known, however it can be difficult to incorporate regular exercise into your regular routine if you haven't done anything for a long time.
A recent study has illustrated just how important it is to get up off the couch and out to the gym or park, with research into sedentary aging showing a decreased risk of heart disease once regular exercise had commenced in participants who had been inactive for over TWENTY YEARS!
Here's how the study works:
Middle-aged volunteers who had been classified as sedentary (doing three days or less exercise per week) for at least ten years were put through their paces with a two year aerobic base training plan. During that period they were tested for heart stiffness and exercise capacity were tested. At the end of the study the researchers found significant health benefits, especially with the participants cardiovascular system.
So, what does a two year aerobic base training plan look like? Well, it's pretty intense. You'll need to work out four to five days a week for the entire two years, rotating between moderate continuous exercise (a forty-five minute medium paced run) and high intensity interval training (four, four minute intervals with vigorous exercises, perhaps sprints, or burpees, or a mixture of push-ups and sit-ups, so long as your heart rate is elevated!).
Now there are a lot of intimidating exercise terms (high intensity, moderate continuous) that may shy you away from commencing your healthy turnaround, but they're merely words, focus instead on the exercises and doing what you can do next. And don't beat yourself up if you do embark on the two-year plan and miss a session. No one is perfect. Putting pressure on yourself to keep every session even when you are physically or emotionally stressed will only discourage you from future sessions. Keep it light and fun and in a location that is pleasing to look at!
Most important of all, just get started and remember, doing something, anything, is better than nothing!
For more on the topic, go to the Catch Up link below and listen to Dr. Erin Howden from the Baker Institute explain the study and the tremendous results.