How to Start an Exercise Programme
September is a great time to start exercising, with many people using the new academic year to take up exercise for the first time in a long while. It is important to make it a positive experience and as pain free as possible to keep you exercising passed the end of the month!
- Have a Routine Physical/Fitness Test.
Visit your doctor before beginning a new exercises programme. Any new activity can stress your body. If you have undiagnosed heart disease or other conditions, you should modify your exercise accordingly.
- Pick exercise or a sport you enjoy.
Choosing exercise you enjoy whether it be a dance class, swimming, brisk walking or a sport, is important to keep you exercising long term.
- Gradually Increase Time and Intensity.
Many people have lots of enthusiasm initially, and go too hard, too soon. Begin with moderate exercise of about 20 minutes, 3 times a week and gradually build upon this.
- Warm Up Before Exercise.
A proper, gradual warm up helps prevent injuries. The warm up can consist of walking/jogging and stretches to prepare your body for exercise. See our previous blog post for some suggestions
- Don’t Workout on Empty.
Eating about 2 hours before exercise gives your body time to digest and absorb the food to fuel your exercise. Dehydration can kill your performance, so stay well hydrated.
- Cool Down after Exercise.
A cool down helps prevent injuries; include stretches and gentle walking or jogging to gradually lower your heart rate.
- Listen to Your Body.
If you experience any sharp pain, weakness or light-headedness during exercise, pay attention. This is your body’s signal that something is wrong and you should stop exercise.
- Take Time for Rest and Recovery.
In addition to getting enough sleep, it is important to take some rest days.