exercise-stretch

Exercise 101 - Getting Started

Now is the time to take responsibility of your own health! 

Exercise has been found to be one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health.


Here are some tips for getting your exercise plan started.

  1. Have a Check-up. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you see your physician for a check-up prior to starting any exercise program.
  2. Obtain baseline fitness level. Check your pulse before, during and after a 10-minute walk.  See how many sit to stands you can do. How long does it take you to walk a certain distance? How far can you sit and reach? The staff at the Sam B. Cook Healthplex can help you with some baseline fitness testing – give them a call at 632-5634.  
  3. Know how to take your pulse. Monitoring your heart rate during exercise is important. 220-age=predicted maximum heart rate x 70-90%=Target Heart Rate.
  4. Consider your fitness goals.  Do you want to lose weight, lower risk factors or improve general fitness?   Make small goals and work toward long term goals.  SMART GOAL setting (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).
  5. Go at your own pace. Start cautiously and progress slowly.  Make it challenging!
  6. Create a balanced routine.  Every American adult should accumulate 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days/week. Adults would benefit from at least two days of strength training /week.  Stretching should be done daily.
  7. Build activity into your daily routine.  Sneak exercise into your day by using the stair, parking farther away in the parking lot, and hand delivering a message. Schedule exercise session just as you would any other important appointment – and stick to it. Fifteen minutes two times/day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session. 
  8. Listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard. If these symptoms persist you need to seek medical attention.
  9. Put it on paper. A written plan may encourage you to stay on track. 
  10. Assess your progress. Retake your baseline fitness assessment at 8-10 weeks, then again every 3-6 months. You may need to increase the amount of exercise or the intensity level in order to continue to improve. Consistency and variety will be the key in exercise success! 

    If you need help designing an exercise program, the Sam B. Cook Healthplex Staff want to help. Just call 632-5634 and schedule an appointment. 

    Now let's get moving so we can all be “Better. Every day!”