So you’ve resolved to start exercising this year, and are wondering how to start? Here’s how to ease into an exercise routine and better your odds for long-term success.
Choose something you enjoy. The idea of being fit and healthy is appealing, however, the idea of actually exercising is often less so. Be sure to choose activities you enjoy, and expand your definition of exercise. Your goal is to increase your heart rate and burn calories. In addition to activities such as running, biking and swimming, consider yoga, dancing, water aerobics, golf and more.
Start small. Yes, running a marathon one day might be wonderful, but for now focus on smaller, more realistic and immediate goals. You might start simply by walking. Perhaps strive for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. You won’t feel defeated from the start and will stand a better chance of eventually achieving your 26.2 mile goal.
Vary your fitness schedule. Try participating in an array of activities to help you get and stay fit. The variety will help prevent you from becoming bored and help you stick to your fitness goals.
Consider a class or an exercise partner. Being accountable to another person, or having to be at a certain place at a specific time sometimes makes it easier to adhere to an exercise schedule. Consider walking with a friend or meeting a coworker at the gym after work.
Avoid injury. Doing too much too soon can often lead to injury, and injury is one of the most common culprits for falling out of an exercise routine. Be sure to warm up, cool down and wear the proper gear for the activity you’re engaging in.
Gradually increase duration and intensity. Push yourself, but don’t push overly hard. Add an extra 10 minutes of walking instead of an extra hour, or try an intermediate yoga class instead of an advanced class.
To learn more about the benefits of exercising, or to schedule an appointment to get a doctor’s advice on starting a fitness program, call Central Florida Regional Hospital’s free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-445-3392.