Starting a fitness program can be a daunting task for inexperienced or even advanced exercisers. The American Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days of the week.
Some benefits to becoming more physically active:
- You will feel better and improve your self-esteem.
- You will reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease like heart attack and stroke.
- You will reduce your risk for developing diabetes and certain types of cancers.
- You will probably lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
Incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine will give you more energy, reduce stress levels and maybe even help shed a pound or two. Here are some helpful tips to help you get off the couch and start becoming more physically active:
- Set aside time each day for exercise. Having a designated time will help you stay on track with your exercise plan.
- Have a plan. Work with you health care provider or a personal trainer to help develop the right plan for you, especially if you are new to exercise or have health-related limitations.
- Start slowly. Try doing 10 minutes of exercise to start with and add five minutes each week, until you can complete 30 minutes of exercise. Even three 10-minute exercise sessions will count towards your goal.
- Try strength training. Adding strength training to your workout routine will help you maintain muscle on your body which helps with weight control and endurance. .
- Work out with a partner. Enlisting a friend, family member or co-worker will help you stick to your exercise plan by holding you accountable and keeping you motivated.
- Utilize a journal. Keeping track of your activity and mood has been shown to help in adhering to a exercise program.
- Try something new. Mix it up with exercise videos or try taking a low-impact aerobics class at your local gym or YMCA.
- Have fun! Make sure that any activity you choose is safe and fun. This will help you maintain your exercise routine.
If you follow these tips, physical activity can be a rewarding part of your life for years to come.
Kevin DiDonato is a professional health educator and a certified personal trainer. His home-based business, Human Performance Lab in Ellsworth, provides private and semiprivate fitness training, nutrition counseling, boot camp training, and private or group Pilates classes.