Starting something new can be scary, exciting, and empowering. Especially if you are making the decision to start exercising! First and foremost, good for you for making the decision to become a healthier you! I know that working out can seem very daunting so here are some tips on how to exercise for beginners!
1. It is important to talk to your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program. Whether it is walking, strength training, or Zumba, check with your doctor about your readiness to start being active.
2. Create short and long term goals for yourself, and write them down! For example a short-term goal could be to not take the elevator for 1 week, or to go to 3 fitness classes a week. Then think of some long term goals, maybe in 2 years you want to run a marathon, have your BMI in the healthy range, or be able to walk to work!
3. Plan out your workouts, to ensure they are do-able. The AHA recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week.1 This can be a great way to start. It is also good to note that it does not need to be a consecutive 30 minutes; you could do three, ten-minute sessions per day. If you plan your workouts ahead of time you will make time for them!
4. Always make the time for stretching after a workout. It will reduce soreness and increase flexibility. If you make time to stretch you are less likely to injure yourself and will have better balance throughout your life.
5. It can be helpful to keep track of your workouts. If you are exercising in a gym you can count your reps and weights. Or if you are walking and running try tracking your miles or steps using a pedometer. This will help you watch your progression!
6. Reward yourself! Reaching goals is very empowering. I enjoy splurging on new workout clothes or sneakers once I reach my goals. The new equipment also makes me motivated to keep exercising.
7. Keep an open mind. Working out is not easy. Some days will be harder then others but it is important to keep active and try to keep a positive attitude. There are SO many different ways to keep active and if you are not enjoying something, then try something new!
And if you need some help getting started, Campus Rec has some great programs with experts to guide and encourage you. For UNH employees, Healthy UNH partners with other departments to bring programs like the Wildcat Workout Program and Faculty and Staff Outdoor Adventures.