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3 Steps to Launching Your Perfect Exercise Regimen

Three Steps to Launching Your Perfect Exercise Regimen


The first step often is the hardest, but once you get started, you’ll find it’s as easy as 1-2-3 to find your perfect exercise regimen.

Step One: Determine Your Fitness Level

If you’re new to working out, it’s important to visit your healthcare professional before getting started. She/he will be able to help you assess your fitness level and identify a regimen that won’t have you feeling overwhelmed and looking for excuses not to continue.

For example: If you’re very flexible, a stretching routine with strength moves might be just the right moves. On the other hand, if you’re strong but lack flexibility, take a look at yoga classes or other flexibility training programs to help improve your range of motion, enhance your strength and create overall fitness.

Remember that jumping into any workout with improper form or excessive fervor can cause serious injury, so being honest about your fitness is the first step and should not be overlooked.

Look beyond what you traditionally think of as exercise. A health club or gym is a great place to start your physical fitness regimen, but it’s not the only place. You might consider daily walks, or playground basketball games, or even dance classes. Just start moving.

Step Two: Determine Your Goals

Weight loss, increased energy, overall health … people engage in exercise for many reasons. Before committing to a particular exercise regime, identify your short- and long-term goals, which will help you identify the best exercises for you to achieve them.

  • Aerobic Exercise: Research shows that regular aerobic exercise—also known as cardiovascular exercise or “cardio” — increases your heart rate and helps burn calories rapidly; cardio may also help elevate mood, increase concentration, ward off several types of cancer, reduce symptoms of depression, prevent heart disease and improve insulin resistance in people who have diabetes. But even if you didn’t know about all the benefits, you probably knew that aerobic exercise typically burns the most calories and is a significant variable in weight loss. Some great aerobic activities include jogging, swimming, tennis, dancing, kickboxing and spinning.
  • Strength Training: Lunges, crunches, push-ups and weight lifting are just a few examples of excellent ways to improve strength, tone muscles and burn fat. In fact, muscle burns more calories than any other body tissue, so even when you’re not moving, one pound of muscle will burn 35-50 calories each day — nine times more than a pound of fat burns. Strength training exercises have the added benefit of improving bone strength and fighting osteoporosis, decreasing your blood pressure, preventing lower back pain, increasing your resting metabolic rate, promoting psychological well-being and — if that weren’t enough — aiding in insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
  • Flexibility Training: Yoga and Pilates have become important ways for many people — including some with limited physical abilities to relieve muscle tension, improve posture and balance, increase range of motion and elongate and relax muscles, which can help prevent muscle and joint injuries. An added benefit of yoga and Pilates is strength development. If these aren’t for you, try Tai Chi or simple stretches … but check first with your healthcare professional to make sure you’re making a choice that’s right for you.

Step Three: Find an Activity You Enjoy

Your local gym or fitness center most likely offers qualified trainers, plenty of strength and aerobic equipment and high-energy classes as well as meditative yoga and Pilates instruction. But if you can’t afford the membership or if you hate the gym atmosphere, there are still plenty of options available for group or solo activities: fitness videos, dance lessons, athletic teams, walking and running outdoors, hiking and bicycling, to name just a few.

The key: Find something that matches your personal interests and comfort level. Think about whether you enjoy working out alone or with groups. Do you prefer setting your own pace, or do you like the motivation of an instructor or trainer? Would you rather workout indoors or out? Keep in mind that the best exercise regimens include a variety of activities that challenge your entire body and prevent boredom, so if you can’t decide on one perfect activity, go ahead and do a few!

This article is brought to you by Life Supplemented


June 12, 2011 - Posted by | Alternative Health, Fitness, Health, Health and Wellness, Men's Health, Nutrition, Reliv, Sports Nutrition, weight loss, Wellness, Women's Health | , , , , , , ,

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