We should schedule rest for our bodies after exercise. Rest, specifically quality sleep, allows our bodies to repair any damage that exercise might have done. We need to allow more time for our muscles to recover as we age. Most serious fitness trainers target specific groups of muscles for training on different days to allow adequate time for muscle recovery and repair. Runners vary their pace, intensity, and distance in selecting their personal program for their maintenance or improvement.
My personal running pulse rate is between 150 and 160 beats per minute. I’ve kept that training range for decades. I feel comfortable running at level. I wear a heart monitor band around my chest to monitor my heart rate when I run. Rather than running several miles at a time now-a-days, I now choose to run sprints. I run ten to fifteen 100-yards to 150-yard dashes. I attempt to run each successive sprint faster than the previous. After 100 or 150 yards, I stop and monitor my heart rate. When my heart rate goes below 120 beats, I crank it up and begin sprinting again. I’m done with my cardio exercise in 15 minutes rather than an hour. I still do longer runs, just not as often.
All of us can set a time limit – 30 seconds, for example – to increase our pace while cycling. Monitor your heart rate after you achieved your 30-second target and then allow your heart rate to return to a safe level for you. Don’t start your new exercise program with intense cardiovascular exercise, cross-training or weight resistance training without consulting your doctor. Do something that you like to do and fits into your current level of physical conditioning. It is more important to start something and stay with it, than to start a big program and give it up in a couple of weeks. Do something little. Build on it. Stay with it. You will be rewarded for that little extra effort.