Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Starting an Exercise Program: Recommendations from Dr. Mirkin www.drmirkin.com

If you want to lose weight or just maintain your healthful weight as you age, start an exercise program or increase your current program. Recent data show that interval training takes far less time than continuous exercise, and can be even more effective in strengthening your heart. You can do interval training by cycling, walking, jogging, skating, swimming, using an elliptical machine or any other form of continuous exercise.

1) Pre-Conditioning: Every day, go out and exercise slowly and continuously until your legs or arms feel heavy or hurt and then stop. Do this every day until you can work up to 30 minutes of continuous exercise. This usually takes three to six weeks.
2) Intervals: Every day, start your workout by going slowly for five to ten minutes. Then pick up the pace for ten seconds and then slow down. When your legs feel that they have recovered, pick up the pace again for ten seconds. Alternate these pick-ups and slow down intervals until your legs start to feel heavy or hurt and then stop for the day. Do this every day and progress by extending the time of your intervals. You do not have to do intervals longer than 30 to 60 seconds. It is irrelevant how long you rest between intervals. If your legs feel heavy or hurt during your warm-up, take the day off.

Caution: Since exercise can harm people with already damaged hearts, you may want to check with your doctor first.

If you like what you see from Dr. Gabe Mirkin, please subscribe to his eZine at drmirkin.com

The following comments are not from Dr. Mirkin.

Play close attention to the last sentence from Dr. Mirkin's recommendations and the Caution. 

First a word about overtraining with regards to interval work. Interval work done day after day without proper rest and recovery can cause serious overtraining in an athlete. So like the Doc said, "If your legs feel heavy or hurt during your warm-up, take the day off." Many athletes go out and start training slowly for ten to fifteen minutes and see where they are or how they really feel. Are they going to be able to put in the training (hard enough effort to make a difference) or did they work too hard the day before? The wise-athlete lives to train another day. The un-wise athlete battles on and gets an injury that knocks them out for almost a month or longer. It is not worth it!

One cannot go into interval work with less than a full effort. One must be prepared to go all-out. Going all-out can be very dangerous so the caution Dr. Mirkin speaks of is real and getting your doctor's approval can save your life. Years ago when heart-rate monitors first came out, I used one while training. After noticing something out of the ordinary with my numbers, I went to my doctor and she diagnosed me with eschemia. I see my heart-doctor twice a year to make sure there are no complications.    

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