We all need to stay in shape and sometimes it’s hard to get started due to our hectic schedules, yet adults should aim for 140-180 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Plus, two or more days should be dedicated toward strength training to help prevent injuries, chronic disease and improve your balance and coordination― and let’s not forget weight loss and better sleeping habits.
It’s easy to say you’ll work-out. However, everyone needs to set-up a plan to make it happen. One should go at their own pace and progress into a vigorous routine gradually, not all at once.
Define your fitness goals
- Are your trying to lose weight?
- Prepare for a marathon or charity walk?
- Get in shape?
When you have a clear plan, it will help you set better goals. If you have an injury or any other health concerns, talk to a healthcare professional before you begin.
Schedule your time as you would any other appointment
If it’s difficult to find time, plan it during one of your favorite TV shows, cycle on a stationary bike, or walk on a treadmill while reading the daily newspaper. Keep things interesting by switching around activities so boredom doesn’t set in.
Designate different parts of your body at separate times
Designate legs on one day, then work in your upper body on another. Swimming is a good overall workout, walking will help with strength and endurance and cycling or a treadmill will give you the cardio portion you need for a healthy heart.
Don’t over do it
When we first get started, we like to go all out by exercising too long or too intense. This method can cause soreness or sometimes an injury and then we might get discouraged and give up. Plan time between each exercise and allow your body the proper recovery time (which might be a day or so) then it will be easier to achieve your original goals. It’s also a good idea to keep a journal to track your progress and keep you on track.
Break the time into shorter session a few times a day if necessary
If you find 30 minutes is too hard to fit in all at one time, break it into 3, ten-minute sessions or 2, fifteen-minute ones. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and cool down.
Don’t get discouraged
It can be difficult to begin an exercise routine at first, but those healthy habits are a must as we age. Even if you decide to walk at first, going as long as it takes for two songs to play on your iPod, or jogging 100 steps, then walking for a hundred; it’s a start. Keep things interesting by trying new things, like hiking with your family or taking a spin class. Once you begin to feel better, you’ll be able to lengthen your exercise time.
Listen to your body
If your feel dizzy, nauseated, short of breath or unusually sore; take a break. It might be a sign you’re pushing yourself too hard. It’s okay to give yourself a day or two off day now and again.
Ask a friend to join you
If you lack the necessary motivation, don’t be shy about asking a friend to exercise with you. By making that appointment, you’ll feel more inclined to keep your obligation and not skip out. By setting up a routine and then pacing yourself, you will be creating healthy habits that will have lasting benefits for the future.