Are you thinking about starting a fitness program?
This may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight, and even improve your sleep habits and self-esteem.
Here are some things to consider.
Have you had a physical within the last year?
Has your doctor cleared you for physical exercise?
Guidelines suggest getting at least 150 minutes/week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes/week of vigorous physical activity, or any combination thereof. Examples of moderate physical activity compared to vigorous would equate to a brisk walk vs. running; biking on flat ground vs. biking uphill; yoga class vs. step aerobics class.
Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. Start by creating a routine. Schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time. Exercising in short sessions a few times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session. Any amount of activity is better than none.
Need motivation? Exercising with a friend, family member, or taking a fitness class with a designated day and time may help.
Most importantly, listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.
Starting an exercise program is an important decision. But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can establish a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.
For more information contact Jeanne Ecker, Recreation and Community Engagement.