To design an exercise program for yourself, you need to consider what you hope to accomplish.
Here are the 13 key things you need to know before beginning an exercise program.
1. Setting Realistic Goal
Have clear goals in mind. This will keep you motivated and give you strength to succeed.
If your goal is to strengthen muscle, you will choose anaerobic exercise program, such as weight lifting.
If your goal is to improve your endurance, you will probably choose aerobic exercise program such as jogging, walking, cycling or swimming.
It could be that you might have a combination of both.
Also read 11 Great Reasons to Exercise
2. Check your Health
Asses your current health condition. Consult your doctor before you commence the exercise program if :
- You suffer from diabetes, heart diseases, asthma or other diseases
- You are taking medication of blood pressure
- You have bone or joint problem
- You ever had stroke.
Certain exercise are not recommended for some people.
3. What Time and Place to Exercise
Find a regular time to allocate for your exercise program so that it becomes part of your routine.
Try not to exercise after eating. During exercise more blood is diverted to the skeletal muscle. This deprives the stomach of oxygen thus affects the rate of digestion.
Consider safety if your program takes you outside late in the evening. Wear a reflective or protective clothing. Have a partner if possible.
4. Choose the Right Exercise.
Pick something you enjoy. It is unlikely that you will continue an exercise program if you do not enjoy it.
Once you start, consider exercise that you already do during a day. If you walk briskly, you may want to pick and exercise that does not involve walking.
5. Know the Components of an Exercise Session.
The three main components include :
- The warm up. This helps to prepare muscles and prevent injuries . It allows pulse rate to gradually increase ready for exercise program. Do some slow stretches.
- The work – out. Performing the exercise at its highest intensity. Remember to start slow and build endurance.
- Cool down. Slow down the activity followed by stretching until the pulse rate slows.
6. Know you Body Measurements
Use a standard measuring tape and measure your waist, upper arm, upper leg and hips. Record and date your measurements.
It is possible to lose fat without loosing weight so do not be discouraged. If you are building muscles, the scale may even go up. Muscle mass is heavier than fat mass.
Getting rid of the fat and becoming fit is what matters.
7. Monitor you Progress
You need to include an evaluation to see how well you are doing. Take time to ask yourself if you feel better, lift more weight or walk farther in a shorter time.
Keep track of the intensity, duration and frequency during your workouts. Check yourself every 4 weeks and compare your most recent figures with your initial figures.
8. Eat Properly.
Proper eating is important when you start your exercise program. You will need to change you diet.
Give up on junk food and eat foods rich in protein and complex carbs. These foods helps muscles to grow, have energy and better recovery after working out.
Limit processed foods rather base your diet on lean meat, fish, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, legumes and fruits.
9. Learn to be Patient
Be consistent and have patience because fitness takes time. It takes time to see results in an exercise program. You won’t get fit overnight
If you have not exercised for years or you are obese, you don’t expect quick results.
10. Dressing and Choice of Proper Equipment
You do not want clothing that gets in the way of your activity. Wear clothes that are comfortable. Cute workout clothes can motivate you to workout.
Ensure the equipment you use is the specific equipment for the specific activity. This will give you guaranteed results and also help you to avoid injuries.
To achieve a successful exercise program, equipment should be well maintained, in good condition and safe.
11. Always Hydrate
Prolonged and high intensity exercise program causes dehydration. You lose water and minerals through sweat. It is therefore important to properly hydrate before and during workout.
Dehydration may cause muscle cramps and fatigue.
Fluid intake depends on intensity and duration of the exercise, environmental conditions and many other factors.
12. Know When to Stop
You should work hard but do not overdo it.
Studies have shown that doubling the amount of exercise does not double its effectiveness. Muscles can get sore but dizziness, pain, sleeplessness and fever can be warning signs that something is wrong
If you experience chest pain during your exercise program, stop immediately.
13. Avoid Steroids, No Short cuts
Steroids have been used to improve performance by athletes and used by body builders to increase muscles.
Follow your exercise program and avoid quick results. The short term gains caused by steroids pose long term health risks.
The negative consequences of taking steroids are enormous.
Some cause are:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Increased risk of cancer and heart diseases.
- Athletes risking their careers
- Unusual weight gain or loss
Also read 11 Great Reasons to Exercise
PHYSICAL FITNESS CANNOT BE ACHIEVED BY WISHFUL THINKING ONLY