Improving Your Endurance

Endurance exercises are activities, walking, jogging, swimming, sweeping, dancing, playing tennis, etc. that will increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. They will make it easier for you to walk farther, faster or uphill. They also should make every day activities such as gardening or shopping easier.

Build up your endurance gradually. If you haven’t been active for a long time, it’s especially important to work your way up over time. It may take some time to go from a longstanding inactive lifestyle to being more active. For example, start out with five or 10 minutes at a time, and then build up to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity most days of the week. Remember that these are goals, not rules. Some people will be able to do more.

Step counters can help you keep track of your endurance activity, set goals, and measure progress. Most inactive people get fewer than 5,000 steps a day, and some very inactive people get only 2,000 steps a day.

Wear the step counter for a few days to see how you’re doing. Record your steps each day. If you walk fewer than 5,000 steps a day, gradually try to add 3,000 to 4,000 steps more a day. If you are walking about 8,000 steps a day, you are probably meeting the recommended activity target. At 10,000 or more steps a day, you can be confident that you are getting an adequate amount of endurance activity. If 10,000 steps a day is comfortable, try for 15,000 steps a day, which would put you in the high-activity group.

Source: National Institutes of Health

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