First off…Quantity and Quality of Exercise

An important first step in beginning any exercise regime is a physical exam and clearance from your doctor! The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has done the dirty work (research) for us all!

For general health improvement the ACSM suggests that all healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity (65-85% Heartrate Maximum) cardiovascular exercise per week. This can easily be accomplished by splitting up your cardiovascular exercise into five 30-minute sessions OR even three 50-minute sessions. This 150-minute minimum has been shown to decrease chronic illness in the healthy population! That sounds pretty easy but there are always roadblocks that can get in the way of our goals, so I have broken down this routine for you into simple steps to a better you:

1. What do you like to do normally?

If it isn’t broken, why fix it! If you normally like to walk, jog, or run it may be a great way to plan your physical activity (which is what exercise is: planned physical fitness). Other options include: stairmaster (my favorite!), cycle, spin-class, or the elliptical. Choose the one that best fits you or try them all!

2. When do you normally exercise?

Having a plan is one of the most important parts of beginning an exercise program; telling friends and loved ones creates an even greater level of accountability. Find a time that works with your schedule and commit to performing your work-out then! Don’t worry, sometimes life gets in the way and we miss a workout—that’s okay, every once and awhile. You can always add an extra 15 minutes to your next work-out if this happens. If you find that your schedule isn’t working out, take a moment to contemplate what happened and change your day/time.

3. Evaluation:

How did it work-out? If you find yourself getting bored it may be time to try another option: if you are jogging on a treadmill, for example, maybe High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be a little more fun. The constant change in speed seems to keep most people from dozing off and making a scene at the gym.

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