Congratulations if you have just committed yourself to fitness. Whatever shape you are in, there is a safe, healthy exercise routine with your name on it!
Consulting Your Doctor
Even before deciding which form of activity to pursue, I strongly caution you to consult your family doctor and seek guidance as to your medical condition. This is particularly important for those who have not exercised regularly for a long period of time. In addition, do not exercise beyond your fitness or ability level. It is also essential to note that you must stop exercising if it causes pain, discomfort or shortness of breath.
Where to Start On Choosing An Exercise
Even choosing a form of exercise can be a daunting task, given the numerous choices available. In addition to the traditional forms of exercise – walking, running, cycling and swimming – there’s a myriad of activities to choose from, among them: dance, yoga, Pilates, resistance band workouts, stationary biking, treadmill, bodyweight training, strength and aerobics classes, stretching classes, team sports for seniors: pickle ball (the most popular-growing sport for seniors), badminton, tennis and a plethora of others – the Internet will give you whatever information you want.
Caution: I will often recommend videos which I find to be instructive. However, if they do not suit you, you will be able to find many others Online.
Motivation is the key element in starting and continuing exercises; it is a component which is acquired through commitment and discipline. Training and sticking with your exercise can be very demanding; life’s busy schedule, lack of energy and illness are just a few of the factors which can interrupt your routine.
Ways of Attaining Motivation
– if you prefer to exercise with someone, find a buddy to exercise with
– join a class if you prefer the stimulation of a group
– keep a brief record of your activity on a calendar on your fridge, so that you can clearly see each day what you have achieved; it will also act as a stimulus
– keep a more detailed record of your activity in a journal, documenting how you felt that day, what condition you were in, how well you performed or any information which will help you – more information on this integral part of your exercising in my next blog
– maintain a record of how many steps you have taken and/or the time you have spent exercising
– get a cheering squad of family or friends who will support you and keep you on track
– when you exercise, wear loose, comfortable clothing and ensure you have sturdy, sensible shoes (that’s a whole blog in itself)
– stick posties in prominent places: Alive & kicking, Yes I can, Believe & achieve, Never give up, Whatever it takes
– choose a time of day when you have the most energy and stick to this time
– start small; baby steps are better than giant steps.
– tell yourself how important these sessions are
– give yourself a pat on the back often
You just might surprise yourself how well you will succeed.
Always remind yourself that regular exercising will improve your quality of life, give you more energy and improve your physical functioning. One of the most exhilarating feelings is getting addicted to the post-exercise rush of endorphins – those little guys who dance around in your head and generate “highs”.