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Fitness program: 5 steps to start exercising

Are you thinking of starting a fitness program? This is good for you! You are only five steps away from a healthy lifestyle.

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of developing chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight, and even improve your sleeping habits and self-esteem. There is more cause for optimism than that. You can do this in just five steps.Volume 0%

1. Assess your fitness level

It is possible that you are aware of your fitness level. Also, assessing and recording baseline fitness scores may give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. To assess your level of physical and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition, consider recording the following:

  • Your pulse rate before and after walking 1 mile (1.6 km)
  • How long does it take to walk 1 mile (1.6 km)
  • How many pressure you can do at one time
  • How far can you extend your arms forward while seated on the ground with your legs extended forward
  • The waist circumference as measured around the abdomen is completely bare over the hipbone
  • BMI

2. Design your fitness program

It’s easy to say: I’ll exercise twice a day. But you will need a plan. As you design your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:

  • Think about your fitness goals:  Are you going to start a fitness program to help lose weight? Or do you have another motivation, such as preparing for a marathon? Of course, setting clear goals can help you measure your progress.
  • Establish a balanced daily routine: Most adults should aim to spend at least 150 minutes moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes vigorous aerobic activity each week. Adults also need to spend two or more days each week on strength training.
  • Continue messaging at your own pace: If you have started exercising, start with caution and progress slowly. If you suffer or have a medical condition, see your doctor or physical therapist for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves range of motion, strength and endurance.
  • Include physical activities in your daily routine: Finding some time to exercise can be difficult. To make it easier, schedule a time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Plan to monitor your favorite program while on the treadmill, or reading while riding a stationary bike.
  • Plan to include different activities: Diversifying activities (training in two different sports) can help avoid boredom that may result from exercise. Variable training also reduces the chances of injury or overuse of just one muscle or joint. Plan to switch activities that focus on different parts of your body, such as walking, swimming and strength training.
  • Take the time to recover: Many people start exercising with great enthusiasm – training for long periods or vigorously – and then stop if their muscles or joints become sore or injured. Plan time between sessions to rest and recover your body.
  • Write this down on paper: The written plan may encourage you to keep going.
Image of a man engaging in physical activity

3. Assemble your equipment

You will likely start with sneakers. Make sure to choose shoes that are designed for the activity you are considering.

If you are planning to buy sports equipment, choose something practical, fun and easy to use. You may want to try certain types of equipment in the fitness center before purchasing your own.

4. Getting started

You are now ready to go. As you begin your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase  your exercise: Allow yourself plenty of time to do warm-up and cool-down exercises with simple walking or gentle stretching. Then, increase the speed so that you can continue for five or 10 minutes without feeling overly tired. As your endurance improves, gradually increase the length of time you exercise. Start with 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Break things up if you have to: You don’t have to do all of your workout at once. The shorter the length of the sessions and the more frequent the sessions, the more benefits you will gain from aerobic exercise. Perhaps 15 minutes of exercising twice a day will fit your schedule better than one 30-minute session.
  • Get creative: Your training routine might include a variety of activities, such as walking, biking or rowing, but don’t stop there. Take a weekly outing with your family or spend time an evening with your old mates.
  • Pay attention to your body: If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, take a break. You might be pushing yourself too hard.
  • Be flexible: If you feel like you are not feeling well, allow yourself to pause for a day or two.

5. Watch your situation evolving

Repeat your personal fitness assessment every six weeks after starting your program and then again every three to six months. You may notice that you need to increase the length of time you exercise to see improvement. Or, you might be surprised to learn that you really do exercise at the right time to meet your fitness goals.

If you lose motivation, set new goals or try a new activity. It may also help to work out with a friend or take a gym class.

Starting an exercise program is an important decision. But it shouldn’t stop you from moving on with your life. By carefully planning and organizing yourself, you can establish healthy habits that last a lifetime.

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