Exercise Q & A
You may have questions that you want answered before starting a physical fitness program. Here are answers to some common questions to help you get started:
How often should I exercise?
You should work up to exercising most days of the week. At the minimum, each week should include three days of aerobics (walking, swimming, biking or jogging) and two days of strength training, with proper stretching done daily.
How long should I exercise?
Do whatever you can fit into your schedule. For weight loss, exercise at least 30 minutes. You also can accumulate these minutes, with 15 in the morning and 15 at night.
How hard should I exercise?
If you are healthy, you can work towards raising your heart rate between 70 and 85 percent of its maximum. Your maximum heart rate is figured by subtracting your age from 220. If you're more than 30 pounds over your weight goal, consult your physician before exercising at the higher intensity.
If I've never exercised before, where do I start?
Start slowly and gradually increase duration and intensity. Check with your physician and start with what feels comfortable.
What kind of physical activity should I do?
Whatever you'll stick with. Make sure you choose a program that you enjoy like swimming, playing tennis or jogging.
What if I'm pregnant?
Physical activity is great when you're pregnant. It can help reduce back pain, increase energy, improve your digestion and may help you have an easier delivery. Ask your physician about what type of program would be best for you.
What is the foundation of a good fitness program?
The main components are aerobic activities, strength training and flexibility exercises.
How many calories will I burn when I exercise?
That depends on how much you weigh and your intensity level. The higher your weight, the more calories you will burn. The lighter the weight, the lower the calories burned.
Following are the calorie amounts a 150-pound person could expect to burn per hour:
- Bicycling – 410
- Jogging – 740
- Jumping rope – 750
- Swimming – 275
- Playing tennis – 400
- Walking – 320
Still have questions? Log in to your Blue Access for MembersSM account and request fitness and weight loss advice online from Ask A Trainer, available through the Personal Health Manager tool. This feature is part of the Blue Care Connection® program that connects you to online information, resources and tools to help you maintain your health.