First, endurance exercises are any activity (walking, jogging, swimming, ect.) that increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time.
How and Where to Start
-Build up your endurance gradually, even if just starting out with as little as 5 minutes of endurance activities at a time, depending on the person.
-Starting out at a lower level of effort and working your way up gradually is especially important if you have been inactive for a long time. It may take months to go from a sedentary lifestyle to doing some of the activities suggested.
-If your goal is to work your way up, eventually, to a moderate-to-extensive level that increases your breathing and heart rate. It should feel somewhat hard to you at first.
-Once you reach your goal, you can divide your exercise into sessions of no less than 10 minutes at a time, as long as they add up to a total of a minimum of 30 minutes at the end of the day (doing less than 10 minutes at a time won’t give you the desired cardiovascular and respiratory system benefits). The exception to this guideline is when you are just beginning to do endurance activities or have certain health situations.
-Try to build up to a minimum of 30 minutes of endurance exercise a day for 3-5 days of the week. More often is better depending on what your looking to get out of it.
–Endurance activities should not make you breathe so hard that you can’t talk. You shouldn’t feel dizziness or cause chest pain.
-Do a little light activity before and after each endurance exercise session, to warm up and cool down (example: easy walking and calm breathing).
-Stretch after your endurance activities, when your muscles are warm to prevent from cramping.
-As you get older, your body may become less likely to trigger the urge to drink when you need water. In other words, you may need water, but you won’t feel thirsty. Be sure to drink liquids when you are doing any activity that makes you lose fluid through sweat. The rule of thumb is that, by the time you notice you are thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated (low on fluid). This guideline is important year-round, but is especially important in hot weather, when dehydration is more likely. If your doctor has asked you to limit your fluids, be sure to check with him or her before increasing the amount of fluid you drink while exercising. Congestive heart failure and kidney disease are examples of chronic diseases that often require fluid restriction.
-Older adults can be affected by heat and cold more than other adults. In extreme cases, exposure to too much heat can cause heat stroke, and exposure to very cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia (a dangerous drop in body temperature). If you are exercising outdoors, dress in layers so you can add or remove clothes as needed.
-Use safety equipment to prevent injuries. For example, wear a helmet for bicycling, and wear protective equipment for activities like skiing and skating. If you walk or jog, wear stable shoes made for that purpose.
Picking Up the Pace
-When you are ready to progress to a higher level, build up the amount of time you spend doing endurance activities first; then build up the difficulty of your activities later.
-Example: First, gradually increase your time to 30 minutes over several days to weeks (or even months, depending on your condition) by walking longer distances. Then start walking up steeper hills or walking more briskly. This should greatly enhance you endurance and help you to feel more healthy and outgoing.
Any of these activities could be considered to a mild to moderate type of endurance activity.
-Swimming, Bicycling, Cycling on a stationary bicycle, Gardening (mowing, raking), Walking briskly on a level surface, Mopping or scrubbing floor, Golf, without a cart, Tennis (doubles), Volleyball, Rowing, Dancing.
These would be considered a more extensive or vigorous endurance activity.
-Climbing stairs or hills, Shoveling snow, Brisk bicycling up hills, Digging holes, Tennis (singles), Swimming laps, Cross-country skiing , Downhill skiing, Hiking, Jogging.