Starting a Fitness Program
Write your goals down and keep an activity log to make sure
your health and fitness program stays on track. Remember that you should
always consult a doctor before starting any new fitness program. The
American College of Sports Medicine has established the following
guidelines for a safe and productive weekly program:
For general health improvement, adults should engage in 30
minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. The 30
minutes can be broken up into smaller segments throughout the day.
fitness training improvements, do 3 to 5 continuous cardiovascular
training workouts per week at an intensity of 60% to 90% of your maximum
heart rate. To calculate your estimated heart rate maximum, simply
subtract your age from 220. Beginning exercisers should multiply this
number by 60% to 70%. Advanced exercisers should multiply this number by
70% to 90%.
Training and Flexibility
Train each major muscle group 2 to 3 times per week, a minimum of one set of 8 to 13 repetitions. Lightly stretch the muscle groups used during your activity for 8 to 12 seconds prior to exercise, and all major muscle groups for 20 seconds or longer post-exercise.
Charting Your Program
Once you have decided on your overall fitness goal and your weekly workout plan, you need to log it, to make sure that you are sticking to the program. Your fitness chart should also include some reminders of where you started and how far you have come.
For example, if your goal is weight loss, jot down your weekly weight or measurements. If you're trying to improve your muscle tone, take some pictures or make some notes to size up what is happening over the designated training period.
Don't be discouraged if you miss an intended workout or have a bad week. Instead, work harder the following week. And keep in mind that staying fit is a lifelong process that takes place in small, daily steps.
for Forming an Exercise Habit
Find a friend to work out with; you will help keep each other
Keep fitness and healthy-eating articles, magazines and books
around for down time reading.
Have at least one option for exercise inside your home to use
when the weather or your schedule does not permit
you to get outside for a workout.
Try working out at different times of the day. Write down how you
feel emotionally and physically before the activity,
immediately after and several hours later.
Put exercise at the top of your
to do list.