10 Tips for Starting a New Fitness Program

We all know that living a healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, yet many of us don’t know where to start or how to stay motivated. Here are ten tips to help get you started, and keep you going.

Muscle and Joint

Sonia Chartier

02 May 2014

  1. Choose an activity that you think you will enjoy, and don’t be afraid to try something new.  Many people find that group exercise classes or joining a sports team can be fun due to the social support involved – not only are you enhancing your health and fitness, you get the opportunity to make new friends too!
  2. Start slowly.   Think less is more at first – start with lower intensity workouts and gradually increase the intensity. One golden rule for beginners is that you should be able to speak comfortably while exercising.
  3. Frequency:  Start with 30 minutes a day, and if you are pressed for time, you can split your training into 3 blocks of 10 minutes each.
  4. Endurance training:  if your goal is to increase your endurance, you should train at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes. Jogging, swimming, aerobics and cycling are all great workouts.
  5. Building muscular strength:  if you also want to increase your muscular strength, you should do 20 minutes of muscle-building exercises 2 to 3 times a week.
  6. It’s important to vary your activities. If you jog the same route every day, you may lose your motivation. Vary the frequency, duration and intensity of your workouts (in that order) and try new activities or sports to keep things interesting.
  7. Invest in good gear and sports equipment. In addition to treating yourself, you will be more comfortable when training.
  8. Make sure you are performing the movements correctly. Learn the right technique from an expert at the very beginning. This way, you can avoid injuries and long-term wear and tear on your body.
  9. Give your body sufficient recovery time after physical exertion. Relax your tired muscles by taking a hot bath. Get plenty of sleep and treat yourself to a massage from time to time. Follow up an intense workout with more moderate activities.  For help with muscular pain or stiffness, bruising, you may want to use arnica gel for natural pain relief.
  10. If you smoke or suffer from hypertension, excess weight or diabetes, talk to your physician before engaging in a regular sports activity. Also, if you have joint problems in the knees or feet, for example, consult a specialist in orthopedics or sports medicine. These professionals can help you set up a personalized training program and suggest sports suitable for your condition.

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