Get back in shape: you are 5 steps away from a healthier life

Thinking of starting a fitness program? Good for you ! You are only five steps away from a healthier lifestyle.

Starting a fitness program can be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can lower your risk for chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight, and even improve your sleep patterns and self-esteem. And there is more good news. You can start a fitness program in just five steps.

1. Rate Your Fitness Level

You probably have an idea of ​​your fitness level. But evaluating and recording your baseline results can give you benchmarks to measure your progress.

To assess your aerobic and muscle fitness, your flexibility and body composition, remember to record:

– Your pulse before and immediately after walking 1.6 km

– The time it takes you to walk 1.6 km or to run 2.5 km

– the number of standard push-ups you can do at the times

– The distance you can reach forward with your hands when sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.

– Your waist measurement, just above the hip bones.

– Your body mass index

2. Design Your Fitness Program

It’s easy to say that you are going to be exercising every day. But you will need a plan. When designing your fitness program, keep these points in mind:

– Consider your fitness goals

Are you starting a fitness program to lose weight? Or do you have another motivation, like preparing for a marathon? Having clear goals can help you measure your progress and stay motivated.

– Create a balanced routine

Do at least 93 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 60 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest spreading this exercise over the week. For even greater health benefit and to aid in weight loss or maintenance, it is recommended to practice at least 300 minutes per week. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up and be beneficial for your health.

Do strength training for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Try to do only one set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about at 12 repetitions.

– Start slow and work your way up slowly

If you are just starting to exercise, start cautiously and work your way up slowly. If you have an injury or health problem, see your doctor or an exercise therapist to help you design a fitness program that gradually improves your range of motion, strength, and fitness. endurance.

Make physical activity part of your daily routine

Find time to exercise can be a challenge. To make this easier, schedule time for exercise as you would any other date. Plan to watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike, or take a break for a walk to work.

Plan to include different activities

Different activities (cross training) prevent boredom. Cross-training using low-impact forms of activity, such as cycling or water exercise, also reduces the risk of injury or overuse of a specific muscle or joint. Plan to alternate between activities that demand different parts of your body, such as walking, swimming, and weight training.

Try high-intensity training

In this type of training, you perform short periods of high-intensity activity separated by periods of low-intensity recovery.

Allow time for recovery

Many people start exercising with frenzied zeal, training too long or too hard , and give up when their muscles and joints become sore or injured. Allow time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.

Put it on paper

A written plan can encourage you to stay on track.

3. Gather your gear

You will probably start with sneakers. Be sure to choose shoes designed for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes are lighter than cross-training shoes, which provide better support. If you are planning to invest in exercise equipment, choose one that is practical, fun and easy to use. You can try out certain types of devices at a fitness center before investing in your own equipment.

You might consider using fitness apps for smart devices or other devices Activity trackers, such as those that can track your distance, track calories burned, or monitor your heart rate.

4. Start

You are now ready to take action. As you begin your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:

– Start slowly and gradually increase your level. Allow yourself time to warm up and relax with a gentle walk or stretch. Then accelerate to a pace you can maintain for five to ten minutes without tiring excessively. As your endurance improves, gradually increase the duration of your exercise. Go to 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week

– Take breaks if necessary. You don’t have to do all of your exercises at the same time, so you can incorporate activities into your day. Shorter but more frequent sessions also have beneficial effects on aerobics. Doing short sessions of exercise several times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single session of 29 minutes. Any amount of activity is better than none at all.

– Be creative. Your training program may include a variety of activities, such as walking, cycling, or rowing. But don’t stop there. Go for a weekend hike with your family or spend an evening ballroom dancing. Find activities that appeal to you and add them to your fitness program.

– Listen to your body. If you experience pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or nausea, take a break. You might be overworking yourself.

– Be flexible. If you’re not feeling well, give yourself permission to take a day or two of rest.

5. Track Your Progress

Retake your Personal Fitness Assessment six weeks after starting your program, and then every two months. You may find that you need to increase the time spent exercising to keep progressing. Or you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re doing just the right thing to achieve your goals.

If you lose motivation, set new goals or try a new activity. Working out with a friend or taking a class at a fitness center can also help. Starting an exercise program is a big decision. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By planning carefully and setting a rhythm on yourself, you can develop a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

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