And that, trainer Terri Nelson says, should be the goal. "The longer it takes them to change their shape, the more permanent those changes are going to be," said Nelson, athletic director for the Denver Athletic Club.
Nelson cautions against short-term plans and advises beginner exercisers -- especially injury-prone baby boomers -- to not be so overzealous that they injure themselves (see tips sidebar).
Gardner's basic resistance plan should be done two or three days a week, with alternate days dedicated to 30- to 60-minute cardiovascular workouts.A 48-hour break should always separate weight-lifting routines so muscles can recuperate.
To increase calories burned during cardiovascular days, Gardner suggests high-intensity work, such as sprinting.
Gardner's exercise plan includes jumping rope, which Nelson
noted can be hard on the joints.Gardner said anything that gets the heart rate up to a comparable level -- running in place, cardiovascular machines, basic steps on an exercise Step -- can replace the jumping-rope portion of his
The most important thing is to make the time to exercise, Gardner said: "There's always something else to do -- always.You are going to have to make the commitment to work out."
Contact Debra Melani at (303) 892-2301 or melanid@RockyMountainNews.com.