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How to get started?
Before starting any new exercise program it is always advisable to know your current fitness status. Answer the following questions.

  • Do you feel out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs ?
  • Does your heart continues to pound for ten minutes after exercise ?
  • Do you feel exhausted, weak, or shaky after a few minutes of hard work or exercise ?
  • Do you have frequent muscle tension or tightness ?
  • Do you have trouble getting to sleep the night after you exercise ?
  • Do you feel unusually tired the next day after exercising ?
  • Do you have poor muscle tone (for example, your muscles feel soft) ?
  • Do you feel tired and run down most of the time ?
If the answer to any of the above questions is a ‘Yes’. Then you need to start up a new fitness schedule.

Often we come up with a dozen reasons for not exercising like ‘No time’, ‘Joining a gym is too expensive’ or ‘ I am fit. Only people who are fat need exercise’ but these are just trivial excuses. All we need to do is to start and stay motivated to keep it up.

This is how you do it:
Begin gradually

Set small goals at the beginning, such as exercising 10 minutes every other day for the first week. Add five minutes to your exercise time each week until you reach 30 minutes. Don't overdo it. Aim is to increase your heart rate and breath comfortably but more frequently during exercise - this moderate intensity is enough.

Give yourself a one month trial period

Make a commitment to stay with your program for one month, despite minor aches and pains or any other problems. By the end of the first month you may be starting to notice enough benefits to make the exercise enjoyable and fun. Becoming fit after being out of shape can take three months or more, so be patient.
Exercise with a friend

Exercising with others will help you stay motivated and can be more fun.

Join a sporting club or fitness centre

Many people find it easier to stay active when they belong to a sport or recreational club. Your local council and your local newspaper can often be good sources of information on walking groups or sports/fitness clubs nearby.

Set realistic goals

Changing any behaviour is not a smooth road. Expect setbacks. If you miss a couple of days or weeks don't give up - just get going again and keep in mind how good it feels to be looking after your physical and mental wellbeing. Reward yourself for each achievement along the way to reaching your goal.
Choose a time and an activity that's right to you

Small changes to daily habits or weekly routines can amount to big steps towards regular physical activity. Be honest with yourself about what things you like to do.

Expect some discomfort at first

A few aches and pains when starting out are normal if you've been out of shape. You can expect the discomfort to pass as you improve your strength and endurance. If you have pain that seems excessive or if it lasts for more than a few days, see your doctor.
Try to focus on the activity itself

See if you can learn to enjoy the activity that you have chosen. If you jog or ride a bike, try to find a scenic jogging path or other pleasant surroundings. Don't focus on competition with others or yourself, this will tend to increase anxiety and stress, rather than decrease it.
Remember to warm up and cool down

Your body needs a gradual warm-up before vigorous exercise. Ten minutes of stretching exercises will usually be enough. Cool down afterwards as well, spend about five minutes walking and stretching, to help bring blood back from arm and leg muscles to the rest of your body.

Don't exercise when you feel sick

Avoid exercising when you feel ill or over-stressed (try a deep relaxation technique instead). Stop exercising if you experience any sudden, unexplained physical problems.
Here are five important points to consider when selecting a physical activity:
  • Choose an activity that you enjoy or are interested in doing
  • Be aware of your limitations. Don't overdo it
  • Avoid injury and keep safe
  • Choose activities that you can do in the long term - something you can stick with for a long time
  • Exercising with a friend may help you stick with your program and make the experience more fun.
By picking physical activities you enjoy and that match your abilities, it will help ensure that you stick with them. If you're not sure where to start, here are some examples.*
Example 1: Moderate Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
30 minute brisk walk
30 minute brisk walk
Weight training
30 minute brisk walk
30 minute brisk walk
Weight training
Total: 150 minutes moderate-intensity aerobic activity + 2 days muscle-strengthening activity
Example 2: Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 
25 minute jog
 
25 minute jog
and weight training
 
Weight training
25 minute jog
Total: 75 minutes vigorous-intensity aerobic activity + 2 days muscle-strengthening activity
Example 3: Mix of Moderate & Vigorous Intensity Activity and Muscle Strengthening Activity
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
30 minute brisk walk
15 minute jog
Weight training
30 minute brisk walk
Weight training
15 minute jog
30 minute brisk walk
Total: The equivalent of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
+ 2 days muscle-strengthening activity
* CDC recommendations
 
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