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Full Version: Stuff you can do
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To get/stay in shape you basically need three types of exercises; Cardio, Weight lifting, Interval training.

Cardio: We are all pretty much familiar with cardio. Basically is it exercising to raise the heart rate for an extended period of time. You can do this a number of ways including, walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, aerobics and/or using various machines like stair climbers, elliptical, treadmills, stationary bikes.

Personally, I like to bike ride. It not only is good exercise but one can explore the area and get somewhere as well. In good weather I typically ride 20-30 miles a day which typically burns 1,000+ calories.  In the winter I use an elliptical and stationary bike.  I also like to swim laps a couple times a week, usually 2-3,000 yards. Swimming is not only good cardio but stretches the muscles after lifting and is low impact on the joints.  I find walking boring but started hiking last summer in preparation to go to Alaska. I've kept it up since my return. The gym I go to (Planet Fitness) is a mile from my house so I usually walk there to work out and walk back even in bad weather.  The gym also has what they call a 30 minute room which is an aerobic workout. You basically do steps for 90 seconds, then rest for 30, then weight machine for 90, then rest. You make your way around the weight machine circuit alternating step exercises and upper and lower body weight machines.

Weights;  we typically lose muscle mass as we get older so we need to use weights to maintain it. I was big into weight lifting (being a football player/lineman) but I don't body build or power lift. I simply try to build conditioning and endurance.  A good way to keep motivated is to set specific goals for specific muscle groups. Lift to increase weight or reps, or sets. Building strength also helps compensate for old injuries. If I don't keep my legs in condition my other bad knee aches. If I don't keep my arms in condition, my old separated shoulder aches. There are lots of ways to lift. High reps with low weights builds endurance. Low reps with high weight builds strength. Low reps with moderate weight but many sets helps with both.  Or you can do progressions which start with low weight and high reps and works down to high weight and low reps. An example would be doing a set of 10 with low weights. Add 5 lbs and do 9. Add 5 more and do 8 and work your way down to 1 adding weight each time.  Or you can go up from 1 with heavy weight and taking weight off as you do more reps.  I do a combination of all of the above. I may go high reps w/low weights one time. Couple days latter do high weights, low reps (3-5 sets of 5). Couple days later do progressions.  Better to mix it up than do the same thing every time.   Unless you are body building and looking for specific definition in a particular muscle group it is probably best to stick to just a few upper and lower body exercises. I do bench, curls, military press and pull downs for upper.  Leg press, curls and extensions for lower.

Interval training; Unlike regular aerobics interval training is based on the concept that animals are not designed for long distance but for short bursts. One can condition oneself for long distance but the benefits go away once you have reached that level of endurance.  Short intense interval training goes after those short burst muscle fibers and activates them. This is sometimes call HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or other similar names. Basically you go all out for a short period of time, back off for awhile, then go all out etc, etc. If you ever played sports you probably did wind sprints, down ups, bear crawls, mountain climbers etc. That's basically what you were doing. I recently started doing a form of HIIT called Peak 8. In Peak 8 you go all out for 30 seconds, back off for 90, all out for 30 etc. You do this 8 times. You are basically trying to peak out your heart rate 8 times.  The good thing is that you can do this with just about any exercise (I do it on the elliptical and stationary bike) but you could do it walking, running, biking, swimming, stair climbing, or just about any kind of exercise. It really jump starts the metabolism to burn fat, get you through plateaus or ruts and it only takes about 20 minutes, once or twice a week.  It is also a lung burner, azz kicker if you do it right. It has really helped me get through the plateau/rut I was in working out.
I'll toss this out as an option to try:  The Power Pyramid.

Simply pick several exercises. Here is an example of a power pyramind I've done in the past, in this order;
  • Regular squat
  • Plea squat
  • Lunge
  • Calf raise
  • Push up w/push up stands
  • Pull up or chin up
  • Dip 
  • Hanging crunch
Now what you do is perform 1 of each exercise with good form. When you have completed each for 1 rep, you repeat and do 2 of each, and then of each and on up to your target number. Once you've reached your target, you then begin down the pyramid by decreasing the number of reps in each set. A pyramid of 1 - 5 - 1 would look like this;

1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 for a total of 25 of each exercise. Going 1-10-1 would = 100. 1-20-1 would equal 400 of each. My personal best so far is 1-17-1.

This is a great program as it has built in a natural warm up and a cool down. You work throughout various rep ranges and it has a pre-exhaust as well.