Improve Your Endurance

Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. These activities help keep you healthy, improve your fitness, and help you do the tasks you need to do every day. Endurance exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. They also delay or prevent many diseases that are common in older adults such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Be sure to try all four types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.

Safety

  • Do a little light activity to warm up and cool down before and after your endurance activities.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of liquids when doing any activity that makes you sweat.

  • Dress in layers when exercising outdoors so you can add or remove clothes if you get cold or hot.

  • To prevent injuries, be sure to use safety equipment.

  • Walk during the day or in well-lit areas at night, and be aware of your surroundings.

How Much, How Often

Build up your endurance gradually. If you haven’t been active for a long time, it’s important to work your way up over time. Start out with 10 minutes at a time and then gradually build up.

Try to build up to at least 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of moderate endurance activity a week. Being active at least 3 days a week is best. Remember, these are goals. Some people will be able to do more. It’s important to set realistic goals based on your own health and abilities. You can manage and track goal progress by using the interactive tools found in My Go4Life.


Progressing

When you’re ready to do more, build up the amount of time you spend doing endurance activities first, then build up the difficulty of your activities. For example, gradually increase your time to 30 minutes over several days to weeks by walking longer distances. Then walk more briskly or up steeper hills.

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