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Exercise: The Right Program and the Right Preparation

Getting exercise is an important way to improve your health. Experts advise that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic physical activity each week can have a lot of health benefits for adults.

To achieve and keep physical and cardiovascular fitness, health professionals advise following a balanced fitness program. Here are some tips for creating a program:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider. If you have an existing health condition or are just starting an exercise program, talk with your healthcare provider before beginning the program. This is to make sure the exercise program that you choose is designed with your health and wellness in mind.

  • Start slow. If you are just starting an exercise program, take it slowly. Gradually build up to 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.

  • Do what you love. Choose an activity you’ll enjoy. You are more likely to continue exercising if you are doing something that you like.

  • Change it up. In the beginning, follow a program that includes medium, not vigorous, physical activity. Start off with 30 minutes a day. Add some variety to your fitness routine. Try different types of activities. But also try to vary when and where you exercise. This will help keep you from getting bored with any one activity or location.

  • Warm up first. Be sure to start off any workout or exercise session with the correct warm-up and stretching exercises. This will help to prevent injury or soreness after exercising.

  • Dress right. Wear the right clothing for exercising. This includes shoes with the correct support for the activity. Also be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Cool down after. Just as warming up and stretching are important as you begin each exercise session, so is a cool-down period at the end of your exercise activity. This should include at least several minutes of stretching or walking to allow your heart rate to come down slowly.

Experts now advise taking part in two types of physical activity each week to achieve aerobic health and muscle strengthening. Muscle strengthening activities include lifting weights, using resistance bands, yoga, or Pilates. Such exercises should be done twice a week. They should include the major muscle groups. These are legs, hips, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and stomach.

Online Medical Reviewer: Dan Brennan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
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