Tips for Meeting Your Exercise Goals

Before you start.  If you have been inactive and you are 35 or older, you should check with your primary care doctor to be sure that your current health status would tolerate an exercise program.  If you have a history of foot problems consult your podiatric physician before starting your program.  There are certain foot conditions that will worsen with a change in your physical activity level.  Custom Orthotics for walking and jogging shoes may be recommended.                                             

               Do it in short bouts.  Research shows that moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts, which can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight. This can be useful for those with a busy schedule.    

              Mix your activity.  Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity can be used to meet the guidelines. For example, you can walk briskly for 30 minutes twice per week and jog at a higher intensity on two other days.

              Set your schedule. You may find it easier to walk during your lunch hour or after dinner, but what ever works best for you set that time aside in your schedule so that it becomes a regular part of your day.

              The gym isn’t a necessity. It doesn’t take an expensive gym membership to get the daily-recommended amount of physical activity. A pair of good athletic shoes and appropriate clothing along with a motivation for a healthy lifestyle is all that you need.

              Make it a family affair.  Take your spouse, your children, or a friend with you during exercise to add some fun to your routine. 

              Choose activities you enjoy. You may wish to select activities such as swimming, biking, or playing basketball with friends to get your daily physical activity or you may find it more enjoyable to mix sports with jogging or walking, but the key is to enjoy it.

              More is better. It is important to understand that physical activity above the recommended minimum amount provides even greater health benefits.  The point of maximum benefit for most health benefits has not been established, but likely varies with genetic endowment, age, sex, health status, body composition and other factors.  Exceeding the minimum recommendation further reduces the risk of inactivity-related chronic disease.


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