Five Tips When Starting an Exercise Program
By Andy Johnson, DPT
It is a new year and a lot of us are ready to start fresh and get back into an exercise routine. In fact, if you weren’t planning on starting an exercise program, then I strongly suggest you do! The benefit list is large and our bodies were created to move! However, there are some important items to consider prior to getting into exercise. Here are 5 tips to help set you up for success.
1. CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY OR PROGRAM THAT YOU ENJOY. At the very least choose a program that you can “tolerate” over a long period of time. If you absolutely hate running, I would not recommend starting with a running program. Maybe you love dancing? Then dance/Zumba classes or equivalent may be a great place to start. Do you like riding bikes? Then a biking program for exercise may be a good fit for you! If you enjoy the activity or exercise, you are a lot more likely to stay consistent and be successful.
2. HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER This can come in the form of a friend, relative, people from a group class, virtual coach, etc… When you have someone else expecting you to show up, we are held accountable and will typically be more consistent. Consistency equals success!
3. GET A HEALTH AND MOVEMENT SCREEN FROM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. This one should not be overlooked, especially if you have been out of the exercise game for more than 6 months. Very important to rule out any health conditions or movement problems that can negatively effect your ability to be successful with exercise. This is an actual service AJ Physical Therapy offers and we would love the opportunity to help get you started!
4. START WITH A PERSONAL TRAINER If you don’t have experience in exercise programming (which is probably most of us) then hooking up with a good personal trainer is a no brainer! They can help customize your program based off your goals, cater towards your preferred exercise of choice, hold you accountable, save you time and maximize results. This can come in the form of in person, virtual, group class, etc…
5. WRITE DOWN YOUR EXERCISE GOALS We all have reasons to start an exercise program. These reasons may include weight loss, strength gain, improving speed, improving an athletic skill, maximize circulatory health, getting out of pain, and more. Whatever your “why” may be, write it down and make it as specific as possible. The research tells us if we write down our goals and read them often, then we are more likely to obtain them!
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you are ready to get started with a health/movement screen, give us a call so we can decide together if we are a good fit for you! (423) 243-0394.