Advice for starting an exercise program

By Christian Nordqvist

When people start an exercise program, they may experience various emotions, from elation to anxiety about not being able to keep it up. Remember the following tips to achieve long-term success:

Remember why you started: people start exercising for many reasons – weight loss, health, vanity, the doctor told them to, or to recover from an illness. Keep remembering why you started as this will help keep you motivated.

Do everything at your own pace: humans tend to be competitive animals; however, being competitive in the wrong way can kill motivation. If you have to compete, compete with your past self. Compare your performance today with your performance in 2 weeks’ time. Check your weight, heart rate, and blood pressure – then take it again in about 3 weeks and see the difference.

Enjoy yourself: for long-term success, the activity has to be something you enjoy. There are so many activities to choose from. Perhaps there is an activity you really enjoyed when you were a child.

Join a club with a friend: if you join a fitness club with a friend, or exercise with a friend, you may enjoy the sessions more. Some people prefer not to have the stress of someone else around. This depends on you.

Experts can be very useful: a study found that exercise and behavioral intervention improves fitness and lowers
systolic blood pressure.

Vary your exercises: every few weeks, change your exercise program. This is important for your motivation and also for best results. The body improves faster if you change your program now and again. This does not mean you have to change walking or running to something else. It could mean changing your speed and distance, and pacing yourself in a different way, perhaps altering your route.

Be realistic about your goals: some people are motivated by goals, others find them stressful. If you need goals, make sure they are realistic – and work towards them.

The longer you keep it up, the longer you will continue to do it: after a few weeks, your exercise routine starts to become a habit. Even if you find it a bit of a chore at first, remember that after a few weeks, it will really become a habit.

Intense exercise and calorie consumption
A study found that you can burn an extra 200 calories within 2 or 3 minutes if you incorporate sprint interval training in your exercise routine, this can considerably reduce the time you need for a workout.

The sports scientists compared how much energy volunteers disbursed on two separate days. They concluded that there was a slight increase in the number of calories burned when intense exercise was incorporated into their routine.

Exercise, every minute counts – in the war against weight gain, every minute of high-intensity exercise counts.

To conclude: exercise may seem like a drag, but the more you do, the easier it will become. The benefits of regular physical activity are wide-reaching and well worth making an effort for.


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