Slow and Steady Wins the Race: How to Start Exercising
How much do you need to do to see any benefits from exercise? Do you have to do a 5K run or spend a few hours at the gym before your wellbeing improves? Not at all. Every little bit of movement you perform helps, and it all adds up. Research shows that even broken up exercise routines work to reduce your wellness concerns. Setting a goal of 10 minutes of activity a day is a modest one, but let’s break it down even more. To start off with, why not spread that 10 minutes of activity into three or four sessions throughout the day. Soon, you’ll be ready to do that one chunk of 10, and even surpass that into the 11th minute, the 12th minute and more.
It’s very important to start slowly, especially if you haven’t moved in a while. It’s also a good idea to consult your GP, and ask him or her which exercises could be helpful for you. This is particularly important if you suffer from chronic pain or disability. Starting slow or tailoring your routine for your needs doesn’t mean you’re compromising your fitness; it just means you’re utilising the best workout for YOU. For some people, just getting up and moving around is a workout, while for others more vigorous training is needed. When looking for a workout routine, you need to find something you enjoy that addresses your personal fitness level. Don’t just stay there, though; try different activities to keep from getting bored, and keep pushing yourself to that next level. With that in mind, let’s look at some key points to consider when starting a new workout routine.
1. Set modest goals: You’re enthusiastic about your fitness, and that’s great, but if you set the bar too high then you’re going to burn yourself out before you even get started. If you’ve barely moved in the past year, walking for an hour every day is not going to be practical. At best, it will turn you off your fitness plan; at worst, you might do yourself a serious injury. It’s better to start off with a 10 minute walk for a week, and then move up in five-minute increments depending on how your fitness level progresses. Make your goals as easy to reach as possible, so you can build on that success and attain an even more challenging goal.
2. Tune in: Music can be extremely motivating, especially if you don’t listen to it all the time. Why not ban yourself from listening to your favourite tunes unless you’re working out. That way, you give yourself a little reward for exercising that will encourage you to keep going, if only to hear the next song.
3. Get social: Sometimes, the people you meet at the gym make it well worth the trip. If you’re a sociable person, a gym might be a great place to make friends by taking a class or showing up at the same time each day. That said, the gym can be an intimidating place, particularly if you’re just starting out, but this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the social side of fitness. If you prefer to exercise alone, ask one of your friends to be your accountability buddy. Ring each other once or twice a week to brag about your exercise or good choices. It keeps you motivated to make more good choices.
4. Dress for the occasion: Wearing proper workout clothing is another great way to get motivated. There’s something to be said for having clothes specifically designed for this one purpose. If you’re wearing clothes you’d wear lounging around, it puts you into that lounging around mindset. However, workout clothes – as well as being tailored to your body’s exercise needs – get your brain thinking that it’s time to go.
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