So, your doctor told you to exercise, but you’re not sure just where to start. There is a reason he or she advised you to not be sedentary and begin a fitness regimen. Exercise has been proven to prevent injury and ward off disease.
I suggest starting off on a plan in a Physical Therapy setting if you have a chronic orthopaedic or heart condition. That way, you can be sure you’re doing what is safe for you. If you qualify for physical therapy, I would then bridge into working with a personal trainer. A good personal trainer will do an entire health history evaluation and assessment. From there he or she will discuss your goals with you and guide you toward not only feeling better, but looking better too.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, “The top two reasons to get exercise prescriptions include safety and efficiency.” Many fitness professional will guide you through what is known as the F.I.T.T. Principles. These guidelines cannot only help you achieve results, but also help you avoid boredom and stay focused.
F.I.T.T. stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. “Frequency” is how often you exercise. An example of frequency is as you progress, you add an additional day of exercise. “Intensity” is how hard you exercise. For example, if on a treadmill, you may be able to increase your pace or add an incline so you’re walking uphill. “Time” is of course, how long you exercise. This can be done by adding an extra five to ten minutes to your routine each week. Finally, “type” is the type of exercise you’re doing. For example, if you started out by just walking, you may want to change it up and add a day of strength training or swimming.
It is also important to allow your muscles to recover. Rest and recovery are essential for not only avoiding injury, but optimum results. It is of utmost importance that you include flexibility as a component of your routine. A proper warm-up and cooldown will include stretching before and after your workout and will keep you from getting hurt. I also like to vary my workouts by giving myself a day between strength training workouts.