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8 Tips for Starting an Exercise Plan Safely

Man doing a pushup

Starting a new exercise regimen can be intimidating, but remember, everyone starts somewhere. Whether you want to walk, bike or run, make sure your exercise program is safe, enjoyable and challenging enough that you can stick with it for the long haul.  

When you’re making movement a regular part of your routine, remember these eight tips from Tryon Medical Partners Gaston physicians to help you exercise safely.

1. Establish Exercise Goals

Setting goals is a huge part of staying motivated and consistent. When you start a new exercise program, it’s important to think about what you want to accomplish. Do you want to lose 10 pounds, build more muscle or be able to keep up with a busy grandchild? This will change the exercise activities that you add to your daily routine.

2. Talk to Your Doctor

It’s important to talk with your trusted physician about any new exercise programs and get the green light to continue with whatever routine you are considering. Scheduling this time allows you to ask questions and determine if there are any health reasons you should skip certain exercise activities or focus on particular goals.

3. Write It Down

Write down your exercise program and goals to hold yourself accountable. Simply seeing them in writing can establish them as a part of your regular routine. It also helps to log your daily exercise to mark progress toward your goals.

4. Make Exercise Part of Your Routine

Take your time when building your exercise program. It can be intimidating to add some activity to your already overflowing schedule. Start by choosing activities that you enjoy, and aim for three days a week, allowing for a few days between them to recover.

5. Find the Best Time for You

The best time to work out is the time that best fits your lifestyle, your preferences and your energy level. The easiest way to find out is to experiment with different times throughout the day and see when you feel your best or when you are most likely to exercise. You might find the optimal time for you is in the morning before your first cup of coffee or tea.

6. Invest in the Right Gear

It’s important to have the right gear to exercise properly while protecting your body. Finding a pair of comfortable, supportive athletic shoes is one of your first moves. 

If you are looking to do strength-building activities at home, try investing in a few sets of dumbbells — a light, moderate and heavy pair. Picking up a few low-cost items like looped resistance bands, a jump rope and a thick exercise mat can bring the gym to you without breaking the bank.

7. Try Different Exercise Activities

Challenge yourself with activities such as barre, cycle or any online virtual classes. Now is the time to try a variety of exercise options to see what makes the most sense for you and your schedule. 

8. Allow Time for Recovery

Starting an exercise program shouldn’t make you stressed. It should be a helpful self-care activity that makes you happy. Remember, start slow, master the foundational movements, enjoy the challenge and avoid burnout. Listen to your body. It will let you know when to rest.

Regular exercise combined with routine doctor visits are key to improving health. Collaborate on a plan with your physician for your successful exercise regimen by scheduling a check-up today.