If you like the environment or structured exercise classes, a gym is a great fit for you. However, you don’t have to join a gym to start getting fit. It’s helpful to be accustomed to lifestyle activity and formal fitness to get the most out of a gym membership.
If you’re brand new to fitness, the best way to start is with lifestyle activity. Park farther away from the store and walk three minutes to the store entrance. Get off at a different bus stop and walk to your destination. Take the stairs. Leave the couch and move around during television commercials. You can also start lifting heavy things to improve your strength. This will get you used to moving around before you embark on a formal exercise program.
You can get started with a good pair of walking or running shoes so you can intentionally be active. Get a firm sole that isn’t elevated. You can easily get started with a brisk walk.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of formal physical activity each week. This means it is performed 10-15 minutes at a time. You can have a meal and take a walk afterwards. Do this after breakfast and dinner every day and you’ll reach the target. The goal is to help the digestive system, kicking up the metabolism and getting the blood moving.
How do you stay motivated on your fitness regimen? Know yourself and how much you want to engage. Find something that works for you.
Here are some other motivation tips:
- Find social support. You may not feel like working out, but you want to support your friend who needs to workout. You work out anyway to help your friend, getting your fitness done in the process.
- Use fitness time as a way to escape the noise of daily life. It’s a great chance to take time for yourself without distractions.
- Involve the dog. Dogs are creatures of habit. They will motivate you to take them on a walk
- Exercise is medicine. You’ll have better health, balance, physical composition and mental health by pursuing some form of physical activity.
Listen in as Barbara Ainsworth, MPH, PhD, shares tips on starting your fitness regimen.