You probably already know that a healthy lifestyle includes exercise. But starting a fitness program can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t exercised before. Don’t worry. Anyone can start a program and stick to it to improve their health. The key is to start slowly and progress gradually. Use these tips to set up a program that you’ll enjoy and that will benefit your health.
3 Tips for Starting an Exercise Program
- Ask for help. No one expects you to be an expert, so ask for help! Talk to your health care provider to make sure you are healthy enough for physical activity. Also, find out if there are any restrictions or guidelines that you should follow. In some cases, you may be able to get a referral to an exercise specialist or physical therapist who can develop a program specifically for you.
- Focus on consistency. Do something most days of the week. The type of activity matters less than the regularity of your program. No gym membership is required! For example, just walk for 15-20 minutes when you come home from work. You’ll build a habit that will allow you to make more progress in the future.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch! You’ll see the greatest benefit in the shortest period of time from stretching. Flexibility exercises help to reduce stress, increase the range of motion in your joints and can make you more comfortable during the day. If you only have 5 minutes to exercise, use that time to stretch.