So, you want to begin an exercise regimen. You’re hoping to tone up, or improve your health, or even lose weight. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. Whatever your reasoning, the first thing we want you to know is that any exercise is better than no exercise! If you just start out by walking each day, or enrolling in a single fitness class, then you’ve taken a step in the right direction. However, at some point you might want to craft a more detailed regimen.
That’s a good idea, because we tend to follow through on more specific, committed plans. So, how do you get started?
Schedule an appointment. The first thing you should do is come see us. We can screen you for underlying health conditions, to make sure your exercise plans are safe for you. We can also discuss your goals, and reasonable ways to accomplish them. If you want to lose weight, we can recommend a nutrition plan and offer the support you need to be successful.
Plan for a warm-up. You will need to warm up your muscles before each exercise session, to prevent injuries. Aim to boost your heart rate for about five minutes, to get your blood flowing to your muscles.
Mix it up. If you engage in the same routine day after day, you will eventually get bored with it. Your body will get bored, too, and soon exercise won’t feel as challenging. Choose two or three different activities you enjoy, and rotate them.
Lift weights safely. If you choose to include strength training in your regimen, choose weights that feel like a 7 or 8 on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10. They should challenge you, but not feel like a struggle.
Use correct form. Remember that form is vitally important to prevent injuries. If you aren’t sure of the correct form to use during a particular exercise, consult with a personal trainer.
Rest between sets. Include rest sessions between strength training moves, from a few seconds to a full minute depending upon your needs.
Challenge yourself. When cardio feels too easy, add time. When weights feel too light, add more.
Record your progress. Keep track of your exercise routine, including times and difficulty, so that you can look back and see your improvement over time. This will become a powerful motivator as you get fit.