How to Start Small for Big Exercise Gains
Tomorrow is always the best day to start an exercise program. How many times have we told ourselves that over the years?
Unfortunately, tomorrow can lead to the day after that or a month from now or maybe never at all. Starting a routine towards a healthier lifestyle can be one of the hardest things to do, especially as you try to fit it into your busy schedule.
The key to starting an exercise routine is to be realistic with your goals, start with small, achievable goals to help you remain motivated. Consistency in your workouts is going to be the biggest thing to form a healthy habit.
I work with people every day to help them start and achieve their fitness goals. Below are some simple tips that I’ve seen work to make a new exercise routine stick:
- Turn your hobbies into workouts. Find something easy to begin with. Maybe it’s taking your dog for a longer walk or walking instead of riding a golf cart during your weekend round of golf.
- Exercise in a social setting. Being accountable to someone else is a great way to stay motivated. Schedule a running or walking date with a friend and you won't even realize that you are working out. Do something where you can socialize with other people and you will be happy to see those smiling, sweaty faces.
- Work with an exercise professional to develop a plan. Getting feedback from a trained professional will help minimize injury risk. Personal trainers or physical therapists can get you on the right path with a safe and injury-free workout regimen, because the worst thing you can do is hurt yourself right after you start. Those negative feelings of getting hurt will make it hard to start back up once you heal.
- Keep it fresh. The key here is to avoid boredom. Maybe every mile that you walk you add a short jog for the next five minutes. Or maybe in between sets at the gym you drop down and do some pushups. Adding something new is a great way to break up the sometimes monotonous nature of a workout regimen.
South Shore Health System offers community exercise classes including yoga, aquatics, and even personal training.