Are you looking to start an exercise routine for the first time? Or are you looking to pick up an exercise regimen again after taking some time off from physical activity? Exercise can help prevent or reverse many chronic diseases; an inactive lifestyle has been linked to obesity, which can lead to many health problems. But there are a few things you should know before diving right into it. You want to make sure you get the “all clear” from your doctor, for starters. Your doctor will also let you know which exercise environments you should stay away from (such as outdoors in the sun) based on your condition or medications. It’s also a good idea to start slowly to get your body acclimated to physical activity; if your body is used to being sedentary, you could get injured if you start too quickly. Another thing to also consider: what will you do to maintain your exercise routine? For those who are starting to exercise again, think of why you stopped the previous time. Did you lose motivation? Was it lack of time? Was it an injury? Were you not setting realistic goals and decided to quit because you weren’t seeing the results you wanted? Think of how to work around these obstacles, and realize that goals should be healthy and realistic. Diet goes along with exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and by keeping up with both, you should aim to lose one to two pounds per week. And those that do lose weight at this steady pace are more likely to be successful in their weight loss efforts (CDC, 2018). To maintain motivation, make sure you are finding an activity that you find fun, and find a workout partner (like your spouse or a friend) to make it also about family time or social time.
Center for Disease Control (2018). Losing Weight. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html