Exercise: The Right Program and the Right Preparation

Exercise: The Right Program and the Right
Preparation

You don’t have to exercise intensely
for long periods of time to be physically fit. Experts agree that physical activity doesn’t
necessarily have to be vigorous. They recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate,
uninterrupted physical activity daily, or on most days of the week.

To achieve and keep physical and
cardiovascular fitness, health professionals advise following a balanced fitness program.
This program should include the following:

  • Talk with your healthcare
    provider.
    If you have an existing health condition, or are just starting an
    exercise program, be sure to talk with your provider before beginning the program.
    This is to make sure the exercise program that you choose is designed with your
    health and wellness in mind.

  • Start slow. If you are just
    starting an exercise program, take it slowly. Gradually build up to 30 minutes a
    day.

  • Do what you love. Choose an
    activity you’ll enjoy. You are more likely to continue exercising if you are doing
    something that you like.

  • Change it up. In the beginning,
    follow a program that includes medium, not vigorous, physical activity. Start off
    with 30 minutes a day. Add some variety to your fitness routine. Try different types
    of activities. But also try to vary when and where you exercise. This will help keep
    you from getting bored with any one activity or location.

  • Warm up first. Be sure to start
    off any workout or exercise session with proper warm-up and stretching exercises.
    This will help to avoid injury or soreness after exercising.

  • Dress right. Wear the right
    clothing for exercising. This includes shoes with proper support for the activity.
    Also, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Cool down after. Just as warming
    up and stretching are important as you begin each exercise session, so is a cool-down
    period at the end of your exercise activity. This should include at least several
    minutes of stretching or walking to allow your heart rate to come down slowly.

Experts now recommend participating in
2 types of physical activity each week to achieve aerobic health and muscle strengthening.
Muscle strengthening activities include lifting weights, using resistance bands, yoga, or
Pilates. Such exercises should be done twice a week. They should include the major muscle
groups. These are legs, hips, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and stomach.

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