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How to Begin and Maintain a Fitness Regimen

Posted on February 18, 2015 by Ashley Andrews
Hiking is a good way to kick start an exercise regiment.

Hiking is a good way to kick start an exercise regiment.

For many of us, a healthy lifestyle includes a fair amount of physical activity. And for those of us who include exercise in our daily lives, the advantages are definitely worth the effort. From disease prevention to a more positive outlook on life, regular exercise is important and rewarding. However, for some people, the thought of exercise doesn’t exactly conjure up images of fun and excitement. Thankfully, though, exercise can be enjoyable.

Keep reading for tips on beginning a workout regimen, as well as information on staying safe, and finding an activity you love.

Safety First
Before beginning a fitness regimen of any kind, it’s important to take safety into consideration. First of all, it’s important to have a basic idea of your fitness level and your unique health needs.  For example, do you have any illnesses or health conditions that might limit your strength, endurance or cardiovascular capacity? Are you able to enjoy moderate exercise without experiencing pain or becoming winded? These and other questions will help you in creating your fitness regimen and setting various goals regarding health and fitness.

Another essential aspect of safety is the proper fitness gear. Supportive undergarments, the proper footwear, support socks and other types of athletic wear will help ensure stability, protecting the muscles, joints and other areas of the body. Also, if you have any joint issues, compression sleeves and wraps can reduce impact to the knees and ankles, and prevent injury and other complications.

Finding “Your” Workout
To experience all the great benefits of exercise, finding an activity you truly enjoy is essential. To do this, reflect on yourself and your interests. For example, do you prefer large groups, or do you prefer intimate gatherings or riding solo? Are you an indoor person, or do you yearn to be out in nature? Are you looking for fast-paced, calorie-torching workouts, or would you rather ease into a more relaxing, restorative exercise regimen? Once you’ve answered these questions, consider fitness programs like the following:
• Dance aerobics. Great for music lovers who aren’t afraid to shake it in public! Also, if weight loss and toning are your goals, dance aerobics classes are known for their fat-burning, body-sculpting benefits.
• Yoga. The great thing about yoga is that, depending on your preferences, you can have an aerobic workout or a meditative practice. If movement is your thing, opt for a power or vinyasa flow class; if you prefer a slower pace, stick to hatha or yin yoga.
• Outdoor workouts. If you need nature in your life, outdoor workouts like hiking, walking, running and cycling may be just the thing to keep you on the path to health and fitness. And the great thing about outdoor exercise is that you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere.

More Tips
Regular workouts can bring positive change to your entire life. However, it’s not always easy to stay on track. Thankfully, tips like the following can help:
• Don’t overdo it. When you find an activity you love, you may want to give it or your all. And while that kind of enthusiasm is great, overdoing it can increase your risk of injury, and can even lead to burn-out.
• Nourish your body. To enhance the benefits of your workouts, you’ll need to provide your body with the proper fuel. Load up on lean proteins, lots of fresh produce and healthy fats. And don’t forget to hydrate!
• Make the time. Some days, skipping workouts is all too easy. And while rest days are crucial, try to squeeze in at least thirty minutes of activity, three or four times per week.
• Set small goals. Optimism is key to setting and achieving your goals; however, by keeping them small and easy to attain, you’ll stay motivated and on track.

Beginning and maintaining a fitness regimen definitely requires effort and determination, but the rewards are so worth it. And with the tips provided here, you can start getting active, and start reaping all the great advantages of regular exercise. Good luck!

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