How to Start Exercising
How to start exercising
With the new year, many people will have a goal to lose weight or get healthier which requires you to get active. “Exercise is the magic pill,” says Michael R. Bracko, EdD, FACSM, chairman of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Consumer Information Committee. “Exercise can literally cure diseases like some forms of heart disease. Exercise has been implicated in helping people prevent or recover from some forms of cancer. Exercise helps people with arthritis. Exercise helps people prevent and reverse depression.”
But what if you don’t currently exercise? How do you get started?
For those who have not exercised much in the past, getting started can be difficult. The first thing most people should do is see their doctor for a checkup. Tell your doctor about your goals and ask them for advice. Your doctor will do a physical and depending on your health may order a few tests to make sure that you don’t’ have any undiagnosed conditions before you start your exercise plan.
Once you have the all-clear from your doctor, it is important to start small. Don’t expect to be able to go to the gym for the first time and be able to run a 3-minute mile right away. For heart health, the AHA recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, on most days of the week. However, if you are new to exercising and depending on your current fitness level, you may not be able to walk for a full 30 minutes without stopping. Don’t let that deter you. If you are unable to walk for 30 minutes straight, break it up. Walk for 5 or 10 minutes, then take a break before you walk for another 5 or 10 minutes. Each day try to walk for a little longer than the day before and before you know it you will be walking for 30 minutes without thinking about it.
Exercise is the key to maintaining your health. Make time each day to move. Whether it be a walk around the block after dinner or an hour at the gym, every step counts.