Exercising regularly is one of the most common health advice, yet some people find it hard to commit to it for various reasons. Perhaps they are too busy to spare some time on it, or they dread the idea of going to the gym, or they are even afraid of enduring the ‘pain’ of exercising.
To some extent, starting an exercise routine can be tough because it requires a lifestyle change, but fitness experts argue that regular exercise is about creating a workout regimen that you can incorporate in your daily routine in the long run.
“You have to enjoy it. It has to be affordable [and] reasonable within time constraints. That’s the best exercise program for anybody, because it’s sustainable,” said Dr. Michael Jonesco, a sport medicine physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in the United States.
Live Science has come up with five steps in starting an exercise routine, based on the latest exercise guidelines and interviews with experts in sport medicine and exercise physiology.
First, consult a doctor on the precautions you need to take when exercising, especially if you have a chronic health condition or if you have not been physically active for a long period of time.
Second, find an exercise that you enjoy doing, be it running, going to the gym, sports like badminton or football, or even dancing.
Third, start off light, and then gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercise. “The goal is to complete 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week,” says Live Science. “These 30 minutes can be done all at once, or broken up into 10-minute increments.”
Fourth, do not overdo it. Instead of going straight into high-impact exercises that involve lots of jumping or ballistic movements, begin with low-impact moves to prevent any injury at the start of your regimen.
Finally, set yourself goals – e.g. running a marathon, increasing your reps or improving your time – to keep yourself motivated in your exercise routine.