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  • Tips on managing Stress
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  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
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Health and Fitness News

You Have to Start Somewhere

Exercise tips for beginners.

Whether it’s been a few months or 50 years since you last exercised, there’s never a better time than today to get back on the path to health and fitness. Never tell yourself that you’re too old, too out of shape, or too overweight to exercise. Physical activity is good for just about anyone at any age and stage in life. You just have to get started.

Maybe you’re looking to lose weight, improve your heart health, or manage stress, but you don’t know where to start. Working out can be intimidating for beginners, but it doesn’t need to be. As you start out, keep the following tips in mind.

Get the Okay

Before starting a new workout routine, make an appointment with your doctor. While this isn’t required, it’s smart for those who have any chronic health conditions. A medical exam may detect conditions that could increase your risk of injury. For example, if you have weak joints you may need to avoid high impact workouts. A medical checkup is also a good time to take note of your health numbers. Take note of your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and more before you start exercising. Then get back to the doctor in a few months or a year. Once time goes by, you’ll be able to see your health improve.

Set Goals

As you think about why you want to exercise, it’s important to formulate goals to work toward. Set a few realistic and attainable goals, write them down, and post them somewhere as a reminder. Maybe it’s to walk 20 minutes five days a week, run a 5K next year, or lose five pounds in a month. Whatever your goals are, push yourself to achieve them. By doing this, you’ll do just that. Then you’ll be motivated to set more challenging goals.

Make It Routine

Those who have a plan and set goals are more likely to stick with exercise. Before you go out to buy athletic shoes, think about how you plan to make exercise a part of your daily routine. Look at your schedule and mark your calendar for the days and times you plan to workout. Just like you don’t skip work, dentist appointments, or your kids’ sporting events, your workouts should be a priority.

Choose a Workout

A balanced fitness plan will include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Some people choose to focus on one type of workout a day or combine them all in one workout. Cardio exercises are those that get your heart rate and breathing elevated and include walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling. Strength training includes exercises that work against some form of resistance, such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises. Flexibility exercises focus on stretching movements.

Start Slowly

One of the best pieces of advice for beginners is to start out slowly and gradually increase duration, speed, and intensity. Pushing yourself too hard in the beginning puts you at risk for injury, extreme soreness, or burnout. Plan to increase your time, distance, or speed by no more than 10 percent a week.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Warm-up and cool-down periods are important parts of each workout. By doing both, you help prevent injury, increase range of motion, and improve performance. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of your workout doing light versions of your exercise or a few aerobic exercises to warm up your muscles for exercise. At the end of your workout, get in a few minutes of low-intensity exercise and stretching to slowly bring your heart rate and breathing back to normal levels.