We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The ideal fitness program for those over 35 is 2-3 days of an hour of varied, intense resistance work and 2-3 days of 25-40 minutes of focused cardio/endurance work. That's all it takes. This will keep you going strong and looking good until everything finally breaks down and you throw in the towel on vigorous life and write your wills, get a trust and estates lawyer, and set things up to await the grim reaper.
Plus, of course, your usual sports activities and Yoga, shopping, work, hiking, jogging, casual bicycling, swimming, sex, whatever which are fun but of no health benefit. (People with physical jobs don't necessarily need this stuff.)
We mentioned in the past that, except for the elderly (over 78-80 in the US these days) or those with serious cardiac or pulmonary problems, walking, fast walking, comfortable elliptical or biking, do nothing at all to improve fitness or to burn fat. For the otherwise healthy, I consider those to be little more than anorectic rituals or wholesome entertainment.
Cardio can be boring as heck. My cardio exercises use intervals to keep it interesting. Here's an interval program that even cardio-hating people can stick with because it mixes variety with challenges: A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun:
The essentials of 10-20-30 training are simple. Run, ride or perhaps row on a rowing machine gently for 30 seconds, accelerate to a moderate pace for 20 seconds, then sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds. (It should be called 30-20-10 training, obviously, but that is not as catchy.) Repeat.
Their research showed that many do not stick with a prescribed program, making it all useless. Lazy does not work. To add interest, I rotate this sort of thing from bike to elliptical to rower with minimal rest in between. Depending on my free time, I quit it all after 30-40 minutes.
Someday some self-appointed expert is going to explain to me how to achieve and maintain one of these "recommended exercise programs" when one has no money, no time, noplace to work out, nobody to work out with, and it takes weeks, months, or years of OCD-grade sticking-to-it to start seeing any benefit at all. On that day, I shall be both interested and shocked.
When a person writes this.." walking, fast walking, comfortable elliptical or biking, do nothing at all to improve fitness or to burn fat. For the otherwise healthy, I consider those to be little more than anorectic rituals or wholesome entertainment." The only thing left to say is "Son, at some point somebody is going to sit you down and explain that you are one gullible moron incapable of discerning between fact and fiction....and whereas you are enjoying learning new "things," from what I can read, your "lessons" are veneer thin lacking a deep understanding of the topics you are pursuing so late it life. I consider a majority of what you write to be "little more than neurological misfires good for little more than wholesome entertainment"
Excercise for life. All forms of excercise can be beneficial. Walking, gardening, individual gym excercise as well as organized excercise are all good for you. The process of building strength and conditioning builds a stronger heart and lungs, better blood circulation and endurance. Over a lifetime these things will improve your health and how you feel about yourself. If stationary aerobic excercise is what you like to do or fits your schedule then do it. If walking after work or at lunch time is easier for you then do it. A lot of our daily planning, now that we are retired, is where do we want to go to hike. We are lucky to be surrounded by forests and numerous trails to explore but when I worked I would walk the city streets and back alleys and enjoy the discovery of a hidden place or a exceptional home or landscaping feature. Running is good, but if you're not a runner walking is good too. Excercise in the way that you enjoy, do it regularly but if you can't for some reason do it when you can. The best excercise program begins in your youth and continues for your entire life. But if you haven't excercised for years it is not too late to start. Don't get hung up on health clubs and personal trainers, if that's your thing go for it but if you prefer something less organized just do it. It is more or less normal in the beginning to think that there is some "right way" to get your excercise but there really isn't. Excercise 3-7 days a week and try to do it for an hour or so at a time, but do it even if your schedule is more restrictive. Pay attention to your body, some pain is to be expected when you begin a new program or even change excercise routines but generally pain is trying to tell you something. Most times you simply need to be careful to not overdo the excercise until you bacome more fit but sometimes you may have an injury that needs to be looked at by a health professional. Excercise with a friend or spouse will be more enjoyable and easier to stick with. But however you excercise you need to plan to do it for the rest of your life.