Are you thinking about starting a fitness program? Good for you! You're only five steps away from a healthier lifestyle.
Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can lower the risk of long-lasting disease and improve balance and coordination. It can help with weight loss, sleep and self-esteem. And you can start a fitness program in only five steps.
1. Measure your fitness level
You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But find out for sure. Learn about your fitness level and write down your scores before you start your program. Use the scores as benchmarks against which to measure your progress.
To measure your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition, write down:
2. Design your fitness program
It's easy to say that you'll exercise every day. But you'll need a plan. As you design your fitness program, keep these points in mind:
3. Gather your equipment
You'll probably start with athletic shoes. Be sure to pick shoes made for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes weigh less than cross-training shoes, which offer more support.
If you're planning to buy exercise equipment, choose something that's practical, fun and easy to use. You may want to try out some types of equipment at a gym or fitness center before buying your own equipment.
Try using fitness apps for smart devices or other activity tracking devices. You can use them to track the distance you walk, track calories you burn or check your heart rate.
4. Get started
Now you're ready for action. As you begin your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:
5. Check your progress
Assess your fitness six weeks after you start your program. Then do it again every few months. How are you doing? You may need to add more exercise time. Or you may find that you're exercising about the right amount to meet your fitness goals.
If you lose motivation, set new goals or try a new activity. Exercise with a friend or take a class at a fitness center.
Starting an exercise program is an important decision. But it doesn't have to be an overwhelming one. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can begin a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.