Your life is not one-size-fits-all, so why should your workout be? The latest workout trend or fad may not be right for you. It is important to focus on what fits your unique lifestyle, interests and fitness level.
The first step to starting any new exercise program is to consult your doctor. A healthcare professional can help you determine what exercises are safe for you and can help you reach your personal fitness goals.
Then, think about the kinds of physical activity you enjoy. The best workout is one that you can do consistently and stick with in the long run. If you don’t like going to the gym, try hiking, riding a bike or playing a game of tennis.
If you are more of a couch potato or are out of shape, start slow and work on incorporating movement into your daily routine. Walking is a great way to start. Try beginning with ten-minute walks and gradually increase your time by about three minutes per week until you can walk for 30 to 60 minutes per day. Another option is to try exercise games available on video game consoles.
Making sure that you are well-equipped for the types of activities you do can help you to avoid injuries and give you maximum results. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Choose shoes that fit well and are appropriate for your body type and activity. Some stores will help you analyze your feet and stride to help you get the right fit.
- Don’t skip the protective gear. Wear appropriate helmets, padding, sunglasses, sunscreen and hats.
- Wear proper workout clothing. Make sure that you choose garments made of soft materials with few or covered seams to avoid uncomfortable chafing. Also, choose activity-appropriate clothes: avoid baggy pants when cycling and flowy tops for yoga poses.
Be sure to discuss a fitness routine with your doctor before beginning, especially if you have any injuries or medical conditions.
- Take your time: When starting a new exercise routine, start slow and work up to longer, more intense workouts. Always warm up and cool down with stretching and slower walking.
- Listen to your body: If you experience pain, dizziness, or are short of breath, be sure to take a break. If these feelings persist, seek medical help immediately. If you aren’t feeling great or are pushing yourself too hard, it is good to take a few days off to avoid injury.
- Be creative: Don’t forget to change up your routine and try new things. Try getting the entire family together on the weekend to keep each other motivated and have fun together.
- Ask for help: An exercise professional can help you customize a new routine, try new activities, and cross-train. Cross-training helps you to exercise different muscles, avoid injury through overuse of one muscle or joint, and can help give you a more complete workout to include strength, cardio and flexibility activities.