Physical activity: 8 tips for getting started

You already know that physical activity and good health go hand in hand. But if you have a medical condition, aches, pain or a lot of weight to lose, you may be afraid to exercise. Plus, if your physical abilities are limited, you may feel like the little exercise you can do won’t do much good — so why bother?

That’s understandable. But here’s a very personal, worthwhile reason to move more: because you deserve to feel good. Physical activity can help you do just that.

Here’s the trick: Don’t think about exercise as a chore; instead, focus on how good it can make you feel. From there, take these steps to move more:

  • If you’re not physically active or have a medical condition, talk with your doctor first to learn which activities are safe for you.
  • Find a physical activity that you enjoy and can keep up with over time.
  • Get some form of physical activity each day, even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Make it as routine as brushing your teeth. Daily activities — such as household chores and yard work — count!
  • Start small. Park farther from the store or take a walk around the block. Move at a pace that feels right for you.
  • Work toward choosing several types of cardio and muscle-strengthening activities. This will help keep you from getting bored.
  • Aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. If you need to, break it into 10-minute chunks.
  • Feel good about the activities you can do rather than focusing on what you can’t do.

 

No matter what you weigh, or what ails you, any physical activity is good for you. It can help you feel better — physically and emotionally.

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