Tips for Starting a New Exercise Routine
The physical and psychological benefits of exercise are well-documented: better cardiovascular health, more energy, lower stress and weight control are just a few. However, jumping into a new exercise routine can be intimidating, especially if you are not particularly active, or your body is changing after weight loss surgery. The Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team has a few tips for starting a new exercise routine.
Start with a Low-Impact Activity
Some people set outrageous fitness goals from the start (e.g., run a marathon) and quickly burn out. Ease yourself into a routine by starting slowly with a low-impact activity. Walking is great! Swimming is another gentle activity that is easy on the joints. So is stretching, which will limber you up and prepare your body for more movement.
Gradually incorporate other aerobic-type exercise into your routine. And don’t stop stretching in between workouts — it’s good for reducing soreness and building strength.
Aim for Gradual Progression
Your body eventually adapts to your routine, and it becomes less challenging. Switch up your activities every four to six weeks (or whenever the activity becomes easier) and challenge your body. Once you’ve mastered regular walks, try jogging. Incorporate interval training (short bursts of intense activity mixed with rest). Start weight lifting. Hike a more difficult trail. Mix it up!
Choose Something You Love
Your workout should reflect your personal interests. You are more likely to stick to your workout routine if you love it. For many people, running on the treadmill and lifting weights are boring. Do you enjoy cycling or hiking? Both are excellent, calorie-burning activities that you can do with friends and family. Were you a dancer as a child? Try a Zumba, hip-hop or barre-inspired group fitness class.
Pencil Your Workouts In
“I don’t have enough time!” is one of the most commonly used excuses for not exercising. Look at your schedule and decide how much time you can realistically devote to exercise. Get creative with your scheduling. If you’re a working parent, squeeze in a workout before the kids wake up, or after they go to sleep. Schedule a lunchtime workout in your office with hand weights or a yoga mat.
Find an Accountability Partner
Accountability is a great motivation tool, especially when you are just starting out. It’s much harder to back out of a workout when someone else is counting on you. If you want the expertise and guidance of a professional, find a certified health and fitness coach. Or, look for a friend or coworker who is also committed to staying active. You can walk or exercise together, or check in with each other via phone or e-mail to chart your activity.
Need Support after Weight Loss Surgery?
If you are starting a new workout routine after bariatric surgery, and would like additional support and resources, contact the Texas Laparoscopic Consultants team. Call (713) 766-4814 or send us an email today.
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