Are you ready to start an aerobic fitness routine? One of the most challenging parts of exercise is knowing where and how to begin. Fortunately, there is a lot of information out there to help you get started. Knowing which method of exercise is best for you depends on your personal preference, goals, health status and limitations. Starting a new aerobic routine not only involves exercise, but also proper nutrition, hydration and flexibility.
Start by Stretching
No matter your fitness level, begin with daily stretching! Hold each stretch for 15 – 30 seconds. This will improve your range of motion and muscle tone while reducing stress and strain on your joints. Keep your muscles loose to prevent injury. Stretching regularly will prepare your body for exercise and reduce soreness.
Beginning your routine involves planning. Planning is determined by the time you are able to commit to training, your goals and physical limitations. Start by dedicating a realistic amount of time each day to exercise or stretching. Ideally, you would work up to 15-30 minutes of consistent exercise three to five times each week. If you have excess weight, start with low-impact activities like swimming, biking, Pilates, step aerobics or walking. Train with a partner to hold yourself accountable!
If you still aren’t sure about how to begin and need more planning, try seeking the help of a certified health/fitness professional. They can help you determine what your body needs to lose or manage weight and stay in shape.
Once you have stuck to your routine for four to six weeks and you notice the work is becoming easier, switch things up! It’s important to gradually increase exercise intensity. Changing your routine makes your body use different muscles, build strength and enjoy a change of pace. Don’t get stuck doing the same exercise every day! You can improve and avoid setbacks by increasing intensity, frequency, duration and type of exercise.
Keep in mind that in order for your body to become healthier, you must remain mindful with your diet and nutrition. Fueling your body properly can make or break your achievement of physical goals, energy levels, running times and strength building. Stay focused and give your body the nutrients it needs to recover and adapt.
As your routine changes and you reach your goals, you can create new goals! Don’t hold back. Push yourself and allow your body to surprise you. It can work much harder than your mind will tell you it can. Don’t give up after the first feeling of fatigue or frustration. Allow your body to adjust and be patient. Journal, meditate and stay consistent to help.
Above all, have compassion for your body no matter where you are with your health. Take control of your mental and physical health and develop a spirit along the way by being open to new opportunities and challenges. With faith in yourself, you can’t fail.
About the Author:
Working within the health field for many years, Laurel Dierking, MEd, NFPT, is passionate about cultivating body, mind and spirit awareness through holistic health practices. As a health and fitness professional and Yoga instructor, Laurel strives to guide individuals on a path to self-awareness, long-term functional fitness and weight management.