Are you ready to start a new exercise routine? Sometimes the hardest thing is merely getting your body moving. There are many factors related to a complete exercise program but when you’re just beginning you don’t want to confuse yourself with too much “knowledge”. It is possible to get so wrapped up in developing the ideal exercise program that it causes you to become paralyzed. We make the plan too hard or too easy or it takes too long, and we find ourselves discouraged even before we even start.
Using walking as an example here are some tips to start your new exercise routine and keep you going:
•Put on the old walking shoes and take a walk around your neighborhood. Take the dog along and let it be fun for both of you. Enjoy being outdoors and breath. This is your first step so be proud of yourself!
•Don’t push yourself. It is good to set goals but make the goals realistic. If you walked a mile yesterday at a leisurely pace then go ahead and enjoy this same pace for a short while. Once you feel that this is too easy and that you are ready then you can do a couple of different things. Try going a little bit further or a little bit faster. However, don’t do both at the same time. If you should become overexerted or sore you want to be able to pin point what change you made in your walking program. Once you are accustomed to one change then add the other.
•Follow the exercise prescription described above. Increase gradually either through intensity, duration, or frequency. Listen to your body and you will know when you can go a little faster or longer. Remember a main part of the prescription is make only one change at a time.
•By this point you may want to make a regular schedule. Make the schedule doable. Don’t schedule a walk 7 days a week if it is not practical. Make the schedule fit your lifestyle but also be flexible and willing to make changes in your lifestyle to include your new activity.
•Make it a habit. Be consistent and follow your schedule for three weeks. Doing something regular for three weeks should be enough to make it a habit.
•For now focus on this one activity. You can add other fitness components as you want, but you don’t need to hurry. Remember you have already come a long way so congratulate yourself!
•Keep a fitness journal. Write down what you do each day. If you don’t walk then write it down. Be honest with yourself. Use your journal to record your goals and the changes you make to your program as you move ahead. Your journal can be a great source of motivation. Go back and see all the days you did walk and put a sticker, such as a star. Use something cute or meaningful to you and as you look through your journal these days will stand out to you.
Beginning any exercise routine can be a challenge. Start with an activity you already enjoy or try something new. Don’t get discouraged if you have to try more than one activity before you find what’s right for you. Stick with it and before you know it you will no longer be a beginner. Be healthy, Be happy!
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