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- MedlinePlus: Breathing Difficulty
- MedlinePlus: Exercise and Physical Fitness
- ACE Fitness: Strength and Resistance Training
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What Is Mild Exercise?
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What an experienced marathon runner considers "mild" would be extremely daunting to someone with a sedentary lifestyle. It’s all subjective. In general, though, mild exercise might include brisk walking, leisurely biking or gentle calisthenics. Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.
Mild cardiovascular exercise may take many forms, generally notable for low impact on joints and a relatively undemanding pace. For example, walking is a mild form of exercise, whether performed at a brisk or leisurely pace. Contrasted with running, it exerts far less impact on the knees and other joints. Along with walking, many examples of mild exercise form part of common daily routines. For example, walking up stairs is usually a mild exercise. Leisure activities, such as cycling, canoeing or swimming, also offer mild workouts, provided you practice them at a low to moderate intensity.
Strength training doesn't have to be about pumping iron at intensive levels. You can strengthen your muscles and bones, ward off various diseases and improve your stamina by strength training with relatively light weights. If you prefer to exercise without any equipment, opt for calisthenics such as situps and pushups. To keep the workout light, use adapted versions or reduce your number of repetitions to suit your comfort level.
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Mild exercise isn't just something for the infirm and elderly. If your schedule or energy level won't accommodate more intensive workouts, mild to moderate workouts can dramatically improve your health. According to a 2007 study reported in "Time," regular mild exercise reduced the tendency to develop dementia. A 2001 study published in the "New England Journal of Medicine" found that regular, mild activity decreased the chances of heart attacks. While more vigorous exercise had an even greater effect, the study found that walking for two hours per week decreased the risk of a future heart attack by 30 percent.
General Tips and Guidelines
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Depending on your fitness level and schedule, you can derive the daily exercise quota from a range of mild to moderate activities, whether leisure activities like dancing and swimming, or typical chores, like mowing the lawn. As a general rule, during cardiovascular activity, maintain a pace at which you can comfortably carry on a conversation. Stick to this guideline throughout, and monitor your progress by checking how long it takes to cover a certain distance or what your pulse rate is after a certain length of time exercising.
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