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A Busy Mom's Guide on How to Start ExercisingHate the word exercise? Then call it physical activity. Examples are playing with the kids and cleaning the house.
Ugh, exercise. We get it. You're tired already as it is. How can your body and time accommodate a fitness routine?
Well, the truth is staying fit will help you out of that perpetual tiredness and increase your stamina. But fitness does not mean gym membership; it's about being physically active. Playing with your kids, cleaning the house, gardening, and even shopping can all count as physical activity. The idea is to regularly do that physical activity and gradually increase the intensity.
These four steps can hopefully get you into the right midnset and set you on a fitter and healthier yopath.
1 Know thyself
You probably have some idea of how fit (or unfit) you really are, so you probably have a level of fitness you want to attain. Having a good grasp of your fitness level will make it easier to figure out what works for you. Plus, for individuals with health conditions, a go signal from a health professional is advised.
Pick an activity you enjoy--be it running, swimming, dancing, yoga, cycling, or anything else. The chances of you sticking with it and turning it into a habit will be higher. Low-impact exercises, like walking, are always recommended when you're starting out because they’re easier on the joints and muscles.
2 Start slow
“Start out low, and progress slow” is the general rule for beginners, says Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. “This means starting with a level of activity that’s light and gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your exercise,” explains Live Science.
One way to measure the intensity of your exercise is to check your heart rate or pulse while exercising, says WebMD. A moderate-intensity workout, for example, would be within 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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The Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S. advises adults to get 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of physical activity per week; that's about 30 minutes a day. However, you don’t have to complete all of that just yet. Twenty minutes a day, three times a week is recommended for someone starting out, says Kelly Drew, an exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine.
3 Plan and prepare
Plot out which days of the week you’re going to get your body moving. Don’t make time as an excuse not to exercise, either. “No one has time to exercise--it's about finding the time, making the time,” says Drew. Even a 10-minute exercise can be beneficial, she adds. She also recommends setting down goals as early as now to help you stay motivated to keep up your routine. Exercising with a friend helps, too.
If your chosen exercise or sport requires equipment, make sure you do your research on which would work best for you. The basic requirement for walking, for example, is just a pair of walking shoes. (Remember, a wrong pair that’s uncomfortable and causes pain would make you lose motivation and could stop you from exercising altogether.)
Also, check out YouTube for easy yoga and Pilates that only requires a mat for the routines. Don't worry--flexibility not required either.
4. Listen to your body.
On the first few days of your exercise, listen well to what your body’s telling you. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. Allot a recovery period for yourself. Tweak your fitness program, or try something new. You don't need to box yourself in one exercise, and that's the fun part.
Sources: Live Science, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, NHSADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW