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Body Exercise Tips

Body exercise tips for starting your exercise program for weight loss, fitness, health, or body toning the body exercise tips in this section will help with those plans.

Body Exercise Tips

Tips For Weight Loss, Fitness, And Body Toning

Listening to your body – Do Not Overexert

One of the most important tips for body exercise is not to overexert. When you overexert, your body almost always gives you advance warning that something bad is about to happen if you don't back off. During exercise, the most serious of such warnings may come in the form of extreme shortness of breath, a galloping pulse, severe muscle cramping, dizziness, or sharp pain of one sort or another.

When you get these signals, you need to stop what you are doing immediately. These are big-time red flags, and you ignore them at your peril. If your last workout was with Richard Simmons and a VHS copy of "Sweatin To The Oldies" it is time you updated your exercise program. See what is new for women's fitness at home and at the gym.

What's more, if one of these signals persists after you have had a chance to rest briefly, don't wait a day to see what happens. Have someone take you to a doctor pronto. The body delivers subtler messages, too, which nonetheless provide important information to those who understand them. The simplest to monitor are your heart rate and respiratory rate. Many high-tech gadgets now exist to keep tabs on your heart rate electronically, but you can get by just fine without the cumbersome paraphernalia.

To check your heart rate during exercise, lightly rest your finger on an artery and count the beats for 10 seconds, then multiply by 6. The result you get should be higher than your normal resting pulse rate (taken before exertion), but it should not be off the charts. A commonly used guideline1' offers the following formula for determining the "target zone" heart rate for someone who is aerobically fit: (220 — your age) X .7 or .8. For a fit 18-year-old, the math would run this way:

  • 220 — 18 = 202 (maximum heart rate during exercise)
  • 202 X .7 = 141.4 (or about 141 beats per minute; low end of training range)
  • 202 X .8 = 161.6 (or about 162 beats per minute; high end of training range)

For safety's sake, well-conditioned people should try to keep their level of exertion within or below the defined training range pretty much all the time, and should never exceed their maximum heart rate. Beginners, on the other hand, can usually improve their fitness at much lower levels than those listed above, so should not attempt to work out at target zone heart rates until they have successfully completed several months of progressively more demanding aerobic activity.

The test for monitoring your respiratory rate, which is aptly called the "talk test," is even easier to perform than the heart rate test. Simply stated, you should be able to carry on a brief conversation in relative comfort while you're working out.

In practice, this means that if you can't reply to a question or talk to the person next to you in your aerobics class without gasping for breath, your body is saying (in a breathless fashion) that you have exceeded the limits of your current conditioning and need to slow down.

All content and images are copyright protectedBody Exercise Tips
Updated October 12, 2011

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