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How To Get Started on an Exercise Program

by Jeff Dailey
Starting an Exercise Program

Often the most difficult part of exercising is just getting yourself started. It’s a question of commitment and motivation. How To Get Started on an Exercise Program
First you need to decide – for your own reasons, and not anyone else’s – that you want to exercise. Most seniors are motivated when they realize that exercise will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, become more mobile and remain independent. Then make a commitment to yourself that you will exercise on a regular basis. Once exercise becomes a habit, it’s easier to motivate yourself every day.
Setting aside a certain time every day for exercising will make it part of your routine and make it more difficult for you to avoid when the time comes each day. Write your activities down on your schedule – or enter them into your online calendar – so you’ll feel like you’ve made a true commitment.
Setting goals can also help you stay motivated. Include a list of your activities and how much time you will spend on them each day you exercise. Review your goals weekly vs. your actual performance to make sure you’re staying on track – and make adjustments, as needed.

Taking a Reasonable Approach

Don’t ask your body to do too much too soon or you may become frustrated or develop an injury. Take it slow. Go at your own pace. Keep your expectations realistic. That’s how you’ll start to gain a sense of accomplishment and start achieving a better fitness level! Later you can ask more from your body as you add time to your exercise schedule and add distance, weight or repetitions to your physical activities.
Consider doing your exercising in the morning. Studies show that people stick with an exercise plan better when they do it in the morning. Not only do you get it out of the way, but you don’t have it “hanging over your head” for most of the day.

Selecting Your Exercise Activities

Consider what types of activities you enjoy – and make those your personal exercise program. If you do activities you like, you’ll be much more likely to stick with them! If you don’t like swimming, don’t swim. If you like walking, walk! That’s pretty simple.
Don’t believe that you can only do traditional exercising – like jogging, swimming or aerobics – to have a positive impact on your health. Think outside the box about what you like to do! Less-traditional exercise activities are just fine – dancing, hiking, gardening and walking the dog. Even doing household chores provides moderate physical activity, while providing the wonderful side benefit of a clean house! Inside the house, you can vacuum the carpets, scour the bathtub, wash windows or clean out your closet. Outdoors, there are a lot of choices too – mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs, planting a vegetable garden or washing the car.
Taking a class can also help you stay on a regular schedule. Options include yoga, aerobics, swimming, and more. Or you can join a hiking club or square dance group. Another idea is to schedule a regular time with a friend to do your exercising – that will also keep you on track!
NOTE: Always talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Every type of exercise is not appropriate for all people, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. And it’s important that you start slowly with any physical activity.
How To Get Started on an Exercise Program How To Get Started on an Exercise Program How To Get Started on an Exercise Program How To Get Started on an Exercise Program How To Get Started on an Exercise Program How To Get Started on an Exercise Program

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