Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Step 1 – Take a Self Assessment
As you prepare to create your plan for starting a new workout routine, start by assessing where you are right now. Keep a 3-day log of all your activity, noting 30-minute blocks (or 10-minute blocks, if you are on the go all the time). Include 2 typical workdays and 1 day “off” in your diary so you can see how your activity changes on non-workdays. Then add up how much time is spent on moderate aerobic activity.
Step 2 – Ease into a Workout Routine that Works for You
Do you currently spend 30 minutes a day or less on moderate activity? If so, then your approach is to work up to your target workout routine by walking. Walk as much as you can comfortably, and then work toward increasing this a little bit every day. Start to incorporate other moderate activities into your day, and keep increasing the blocks daily until you come up to the recommended aerobic activity guidelines. Looking for ideas? See our aerobic exercises list.
Don't overdo it. It's tempting to be overzealous at the beginning of a workout plan, when you're high energy and highly motivated, but it can actually be quite destructive. The more exercise you get in, the better you will start to feel. But if you push yourself too hard too soon, you run the risk of injury or backsliding. That's the key to starting a new workout routine that will last.
Step 3 – Keep Yourself Motivated
Here are some tips to stick with your new workout routine:
How to start a new workout routine
• Get a workout buddy. Talk to each other about your plans to start working out. Make your workouts dependent on each other. Swap shoes at the end of the workout, so that each of you has to show up the next time. Just make sure it happens!
• Go digital. With all of the technology out there, things can get a little overwhelming! Use today’s technology to your advantage. We like the SuperBetter app that allows you to choose your Epic Win (goal) and accomplish daily quests that will get you there.
• Consider joining a gym and taking a class. Try a yoga, tai chi, or ballroom-dancing class and see what you like-you won't know until you try.
• Start to work on projects in and around the house that include lifting and moderately vigorous activities. Your housemates and neighbors may thank you for your efforts.
• Take your kid-or borrow one-and go play on the playground. Keeping up with an active 4-year-old can be a real workout, and playground equipment is perfect for strength training; it's a great place to do chin ups.
Establish your Daily Routine
Soon you’ll find that exercise is really essential time for your brain to relax while you are doing something with your body. Rollerblading around an empty parking lot, lap swimming, or jogging on a track can be just as good as meditating.
Most importantly, have fun being active. It is one of those things that can take on a life of its own once you find out what you like to do.