Finding the right exercise program and the right preparation
Physical activity is an important action that people can do to improve their health.
Experts advise getting at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic
physical activity every week for major health benefits.
To achieve and maintain physical, heart, and lung fitness, health professionals advise
having a balanced fitness program:
If you have an existing health condition, or are just starting an exercise program,
be sure to talk with your healthcare provider first. Make sure the program that you
choose is designed with your health and wellness in mind.
If you are just starting with an exercise program, start slowly. Gradually build up
to 30 minutes a day.
Choose an activity that you will enjoy. You are more likely to continue exercising
if you are doing something that you like.
At first, follow a program that includes moderate, not vigorous, physical activity.
Start with 30 minutes a day. Add some variety to your fitness routine—not only in
the fitness activity that you choose but also in the time and setting. This helps
to limit boredom with any single activity or location.
Be sure to start any exercise session with a proper warm-up and stretching exercises.
Doing so will help limit post-exercise soreness or injury.
Wear the proper clothing and shoes when exercising. Make sure your shoes have enough
support for the activity. Also, be sure to dress right for the weather.
Just as warming up and stretching are important as you start each exercise session,
so is a cool-down period at the end of your exercise activity. Include at least several
minutes of stretching or walking to allow your heart rate to come down slowly.
Experts now advise participating in 2 types of physical activity each week. This can
help to ensure aerobic health and muscle strengthening. Muscle strengthening activities
include lifting weights, using resistance bands, and practicing yoga or Pilates. Do
these exercises twice a week. They should include the major muscle groups (legs, hips,
back, chest, arms, shoulders, and abdomen).