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In order to make a success of starting to exercise, it is important that you choose an activity that is right for you. There is little point in pursuing a type of exercise that you don’t like, or feel uncomfortable with, or for paying out on membership fees for a gym you probably won’t attend regularly enough, or buying the best home exercise equipment that just gets left unused in the corner of a room.
Choosing the right types of exercises for you increases the prospect of you becoming sufficiently motivated to keep at it, and to feel the health benefit from it. If you start an activity just because you think you should, and don’t really like doing it, you’re unlikely to persevere at it for the long term. Think about it. If you are not an early riser, a jog at 5 or 6 am before going to work is unlikely to become a regular routine with you, is it?
Whatever form of exercise you decide on, even home exercise, and for whatever reason – to lose weight for instance or to improve your overall fitness – ease yourself into it gradually. There’s no point in pushing yourself too much to start with as you could end up with a muscle or joint injury, especially if you haven’t exercised recently – or at all!
There are a number of exercise choices for you to consider.
- Do you want to exercise on your own or with other people?
- What is your preference – outdoor or indoor exercise?
- Can you afford to pay for home exercise equipment or gym membership fees?
- When will you have time to exercise, and where?
- Do you have any medical conditions; are you recovering from an injury; are you pregnant? These would all require you to consult your doctor before starting to exercise.
The main problem with starting to exercise is … the starting to exercise! Getting sufficient motivation to take the first step towards an exercise program can be a problem. If you’re not remotely athletic or sports minded, then choose something simple to start with, like walking.
For those who aren’t particularly athletic or who have tended to avoid physical exercise in the past, walking is an ideal way to start getting fit. It is great exercise and it can be done anywhere, doesn’t cost you anything and can be fitted into even the busiest of daily routines.
All you need is a decent pair of walking shoes or trainers. It may seem an overly simple way to get fit but don’t dismiss it. Most people walk on average only about a third of a mile a day, so it is easy to improve on this straightaway, without wearing yourself out. It helps in strengthening the flexibility of your joints and muscles, and, as long as you walk briskly, will improve your cardiovascular system.
But take it easy to start with. Initially try walking briskly for ten minutes or so each day, then increase this by five minutes daily every couple of weeks to increase the intensity of your exercise activities. This will improve your endurance. Vary the route you take to make your exercise experience more interesting, and if you can get your partner or a friend to accompany you, time will pass quicker.
After you have been walking as exercise for a while, you will feel fitter, and may feel confident enough to try an additional form of exercise, like using a treadmill, for example, or simple weight lifting, playing tennis, or cycling. Whatever form of workouts you choose, ease yourself into them gradually so you don’t injure yourself. Muscle and joint pain caused by over intense exercise routines can cause you to have time off work to recover, so be careful.
Exercises are easily introduced into one’s daily routines and the long term health benefits far outweigh any initial concerns you may have about lifestyle changes.
Only you can choose the best exercise for you. Exercising should be fun and enjoyable. Make it so.