You’ll hear us recommended planning time and time again; but that’s because it’s so helpful in making health goals attainable. And that counts the same for exercise! Before you start exercising, begin thinking about how to incorporate routine exercise into your lifestyle. That means:
- Get the items you need to make exercise safe (see Get Pumped: Safety First)
- Get the equipment you need, join a gym or map a walking route
- Look at your calendar and decide upon the time that would be best for exercise, then make it an appointment
- Talk with your family about your plans for exercise–and see if they might want to join in!
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends:
- Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise: Moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week (at least 150 minutes per week) OR vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise for at least 20 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week (at least 75 minutes per week), OR a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise to achieve a total energy expenditure of at least 500-1000 calories per week.
- Resistance exercise: Resistance exercises for each of the major muscle groups at least 2-3 days per week.
- Flexibility exercise: Flexibility exercises for each the major muscle-tendon groups (a total of 60 seconds per exercise) at least 2 days per week to maintain range of motion.
If you don’t have an exercise routine yet, these guidelines can be a bit much to take in! The key is to start slowly, both to prevent injury and create a plan for success. And remember that being active is different from exercising. Click here for more information about what counts as exercise along with some tips for getting started gradually.