Starting Your Own Fitness Routine in Three Simple Steps
Improving your overall fitness is a great way to help your body be the best it can be – both physically and emotionally. But if you’ve decided you’d like to start up your own fitness routine, you may be wondering where to begin. That’s why we have designed this guide with three simple steps to help you get healthy today!
1. Speak With Your Health Care Professional
It is important for anyone who hasn’t exercised in a while or who is beginning a new exercise routine to speak with their health care provider before beginning a new fitness routine. That way you can avoid any unnecessary injuries or health problems.
It is particularly important to speak with your health care practitioner if you:
- are overweight or obese
- have had a heart attack or suffer from heart disease
- suffer from a chronic disease, like osteoporosis, arthritis, or fibromyalgia
- have an existing muscle or joint injury
2. Assess Your Fitness Level
Before beginning your exercise routine, you should begin by assessing your fitness level. Although this can be done on your own, it’s a good idea to ask a professional who already has a standardized testing method (most gyms offer fitness assessments). Not only will a fitness assessment give you valuable insight into where you should start your fitness training, but it will also help you evaluate the progress you’re making as time goes on.
Your fitness assessment may include testing to measure:
- your BMI (body mass index)
- your waist circumference
- the time it takes you to walk one mile
- your resting heart rate (when you aren’t active) and a reading of your heart rate after walking one mile
3. Make a Fitness Plan
Your fitness plan should include the types of activities (i.e. aerobic, strength, flexibility) you want to pursue and when you are going to engage in those activities. It is generally recommended that healthy men and women get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. If you are engaging in more rigorous exercise, you need to get 20 minutes at least 3 times a week. However, it is important to start off slowly and methodically. Begin with just ten minutes of exercise a day, and don’t forget to stretch before and after. This will help to ensure that you are exercising safely and preventing injury.
In addition, you will need to decide what type of structure will work best for you. Some people work best in groups, while others exercise more effectively alone. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
- Having a reliable time and location, so they’re easier to plan around
- Having a social atmosphere
- Adding a healthy amount of peer pressure to participate
- Added flexibility as to the time and place.
- The ability to try different types of exercises.
Some people prefer the structured setting of a class or group setting. For these people, it is best to seek out a fitness routine that takes place in a formal setting such as a gym. There are also support groups available for those who need a little extra motivation. Pursuing structured fitness has the advantage of:
For many people, a self-directed fitness program is the best option, although in order for this method to be successful, it is imperative to create a plan that you can stick to. That means setting up a regular fitness schedule and planning your daily routine accordingly. This type of fitness has the following advantages:
And finally, don’t forget to include time for fun in your fitness routine! If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it – so try incorporating some fun stuff (like a dance class) in addition to other fitness techniques.