Whether you consider yourself a couch potato or simply live a sedentary lifestyle, it’s never too late to start exercising. And with spring fast approaching—making outdoor activities more enticing—now is a great time to start.
Exercising has many benefits that cannot be ignored. It helps improve your heart and lung function, prevents chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, reduces stress and depression, and improves your sleep.
If you’d like to experience some of these benefits for yourself, here are some tips to follow when starting an exercise regimen:
- Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine to ensure you plan an exercise program that’s right for you.
- Ease into an exercise routine. Exercising three times a week is ideal at the start. Once you become stronger, you can gradually increase your time.
- Aim to complete 30 minutes of exercise each time. This does not have to be done all at once. Breaking it up into 15 minutes of exercise twice a day is just as effective if it’s easier to fit into your schedule.
- Do activities that you enjoy. The more you enjoy exercise, the more you are likely to stick with it and keep boredom at bay. Exercise activities can include walking, bicycling, dancing, swimming and tennis.
- Exercise with friends, family or in a group. This will keep you motivated and accountable.
- Exercise at the correct intensity to ensure you get the most out of your workout. For beginners, a moderate intensity exercise is best, when you sweat a little and can talk, but not sing, during the activity. You also can make sure you are within your target heart rate range by using a simple formula. To find that formula, visit the American Heart Association’s website at heart.org.
Exercising is an important decision, so it’s important to find the time, plan ahead and set measurable and realistic goals. Let Carroll Hospital help you achieve your healthy lifestyle goals. Learn more about available resources that can help you live healthier at the Tevis Center for Wellness.