Stay healthy! Doing so can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Exercise is also linked to better mental health and cognitive function.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner, triathlete or scale a mountain to improve your health. Staying active is important and it can help you give your heart a workout, stay strong and maintain a healthy weight.
Find something you enjoy participating in. You don’t have to spend every day in the gym. Walk around the block, dance along with a DVD at home or go on a bike ride – get moving!
1. Start Off Slow
If it has been several years since your last workout, start out slow. You will want to avoid injuries that’ll send you right back to the couch. Always consult your doctor before you start an exercise program, as there may be precautions you should take.
A session of five to ten minutes will be sufficient for your first day, and you can increase the length of time as you progress.
2. Get Your 3-10s
Harvard School of Public Health suggests three 10-minute sessions are just as good as one longer session. In one day you could do a 10-minute walk around the block before work, 10-minute walk during lunch, and a 10-minute dance session after before dinner.
More exercise is fine; however, take precautions to avoid injuries like a muscle strain.
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3. Work Those Muscles
Aerobic exercise is great, but that isn’t all you need. Resistance training or weight lifting is just as important. You can improve your balance and coordination as well as strengthen your muscles and bones. This can help prevent falls and reduce risk for osteoporosis
Not sure where to begin? Get a one-time training session with a trainer, and take notes on what he/she shows you.
4. Mix It Up
Most gyms and community centers offer free classes with a new membership or even a week of free gym use. Take advantage of those opportunities. You might find something you love while experiencing the newest fitness trends. Not a gym person? Check online for local outdoor group activities.
5. Watch Your Money
For just pennies, you can get a great workout from home or around the neighborhood. Fitness DVDs are great and many local libraries have copies you can check-out. You’ll be able to test many exercises and find what you really like. Another option is to find the fitness channel on TV.
Other home workouts that require little or no equipment include:
- jumping rope
- resistance band training
- jumping jacks
6. Stretch It Out
Stretching is vital before and after a workout and should be a requirement of your routine. Stretching improves muscle flexibility, range of motion, and increases blood flow to certain muscles. You can lower your risk of injury or muscle cramps with the right stretching routine.
Ask a trainer for a quick tutorial if you need guidance.