Let's Get Moving!
Beginning a new exercise routine can be a daunting task. You find yourself asking,
- Where do I start?
- What type of exercise is most important?
- How do I make sure I’m getting the most benefit out of what I am doing?
These are all important questions, but first and foremost, make sure you have your physician’s clearance for exercise before beginning a new routine. Once you have that, follow my recommendations below, to start strong!
1. Start Small. Follow CDC's guidelines for physical activity: "For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity throughout the week."
2. Cardiovascular exercise has a lot of great health benefits like disease prevention and weight loss/maintenance, so let's focus on that first! Here are some ideas: walk/jog intervals, walking with incline, stair climbing, outdoor/indoor bicycling, swimming, rowing machine, elliptical machine, aerobic videos, dance classes, boxing, playing a sport (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.), the list goes on! Find what you enjoy doing and what you can stick with!
3. When it comes to strength training, start with the basics. Squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, etc. are great choices. These types of exercises require large muscle group recruitment and movement at multiple joints. They will help your body get used to movement again, and build up a baseline total body strength level from which you can progress to targeting smaller muscle groups more specifically, later. If you haven't learned the basics, schedule a consultation with a HAWA Fitness Specialist so that they can demonstrate and give you cues to correct your form using HAWA's video software. If you are working out at a gym, reduce the risk of injury by having an employee show you how to use strength machines which simulate similar movements above.
4. ALWAYS begin & end your workout with a warm-up & cool-down! Spend 3-5 minutes for each. Use dynamic movements which move the joints through their full range of motion to warm up the muscles and prevent injuries, and use static stretching at the end to help prevent muscle soreness.
5. Set a goal. How do you know how to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going? Let me help you! Login to your HAWA account to schedule a consultation with me so that we can create goals and build a schedule to achieve them. We will break down any barriers you have standing in your way to come up with a plan that is best for you and your busy schedule!
The bottom line is, move your body! Assess where you currently are, and start easy; do what is manageable for you at this moment. Almost any movement is better than none. Remember, if you keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow,” pretty soon you’ll end up with a bunch of wasted yesterdays. Make “tomorrow” your today!
~Shara Swager, Fitness Specialist, Health As We Age, Inc.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Current Physical Activity Guidelines. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/policies_practices/physical_activity/guidelines.htm