If you are just beginning to exercise or starting a new routine, here are some things to consider. It is recommended to get your physician’s approval before you begin, especially if you have a heart condition or if you are recovering from a serious illness or injury. Low impact exercises like Pilates, yoga, swimming and walking are usually considered safe activities but it’s always better to make sure the exercise is the right one for you.
Build your exercise program slowly. This will decrease the chances of injury or re-injury. If you come to an exercise that is not right for you. Leave it out or if you know a modification, do the modified version. This approach to the exercises will allow you to proceed with confidence. If it’s been quite some time since you’ve exercised, start with walking. Just walking at a moderate pace for 5-10 minutes creates a new habit. Gradually, work your way up to 20 minutes. You want the activity to be enjoyable and to become a part of your lifestyle.
When beginning something new, get some instructions. Take some lessons with a trained professional who specializes in the activity you are interested in. A qualified trainer can help you with body alignment, understand what should be moving and what should be stable, and can keep you focused or motivated. Working with a trainer can also help you progress quicker and avoid injury.
Consider water aerobics. You may be surprised by the things you can do in water that seem impossible to do on land. Water aerobics can be effective for both improving fitness and losing weight.
Try Pilates or yoga. Both are beneficial in increasing body awareness. However, they are not the same exercise. Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on building strength and stability. Yoga focuses on flexibility and balance with various poses.
Try different approaches. If you find it hard to walk consistently, sign up for a class or start a walking group. The point is to try different activities until you find the one or ones that work for you and your lifestyle. Think about things you already enjoy doing. For example, if you are an outdoor person, try walking a trail vs a treadmill.
If you are sore after exercising, take a hot bath or shower. Include some stretches after your workout or try getting a massage to relieve muscle tension.