All of us wants to be fit. When you look good, you feel good. Your confidence will get a boost and most important of all, you’ll get all the health benefits that go along with being fit. It’s easy to say that you want to exercise and be physically active. However, it’s not that simple. There are things you should consider before starting a fitness program. Curious? Read this article to find out.
What to Consider Before Starting a Fitness Program
1. Answer these questions:
• Have a heart disorder?
• Feel pains in your chest?
• Have high blood pressure?
• Experience dizzy spells?
• Have arthritis or joint problems that could limit physical activity?
• Have diabetes?
Are you 65 or older and not used to exercise?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s best to consult your doctor before starting a fitness program.
2. Consider your fitness goals
Are you embarking on a fitness program to help you lose weight? Or maybe you have another purpose, such as enhancing muscle tone, preparing for a marathon, getting into sports, or improving your overall health. Each of these goals will have different requirements and time frame. Having clear goals in mind right from the start can help you prepare physically, emotionally, and mentally.
3. Get the right equipment
You probably want to start with the basics – shoes. Make sure that you’ll be using shoes specifically designed for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes are lighter than cross-training shoes. Meanwhile, if you want to buy exercise equipment, choose those that are practical and easy to use. You may want to try them out at a fitness center before purchasing your own equipment. Also, you can make use of fitness apps and fitness trackers that can monitor heart rate, distance traveled, and calories burned.
4. Start slowly and build up gradually
Give yourself time to warm up with easy walking or gentle stretching. Then increase the pace for 5 – 10 minutes. As your stamina improves, gradually increase the amount of time you allot for exercise. Work your way up to 30 – 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
5. Be creative
Most likely, your exercise routine includes such activities like walking, running, or cycling. But don’t stop there. You can add more activities that you find enjoyable. For example, you can hike with your family during weekends or spend an evening ballroom dancing.
6. Listen to your body
If you feel dizziness, pain, or shortness of breath, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard. Be flexible. If you’re not feeling well, give yourself time to recover for a day or two.
7. Monitor your progress
Assess your progress six weeks after starting your fitness program and again every few months. Based on that, you can adjust the amount of time you set for exercise. If you find yourself lacking motivation, try a new activity or set new goals.
Starting a fitness program is an important decision. But you don’t have to be intimidated or overwhelmed by it. Through careful planning and proper pacing, you can successfully achieve your fitness goals.