It’s Fall. Autumn is a great time to embrace the beginning of a new fitness program. A few good guidelines, whether you head outdoors or to the gym, will help you get started on a safe and successful routine.
To begin safely, break your program in to four components.
1. Cardiovascular Training: After you have your doctor’s agreement, get started, but start slowly. In the beginning, aim for three times per week. Depending on your fitness level, start anywhere with 10- 30 minutes of your favorite cardio activity. Walking is a great place to begin! I love pedometers and you can consult my on the usage of them for more information.
2. Strength Training: Two times per week will do. Once again, duration depends on your fitness level. If you are a beginner, 20-30 minutes will be sufficient. Even if you are an experienced lifter, 45 minutes should be all you need if you use your time wisely.
3. Interval Fun! Try doing something a little harder & a little faster for a few minutes at the end of your workouts. Intervals burn more calories and help you get in better shape more quickly. For more information, see my on interval training.
4. Stretching & Foam Rolling: Add 5-10 minutes after every workout (including cardio and weight training). Foam rollers are a great way to loosen up stiff muscles and gently self-massage. Stretch your major muscle groups regularly. In addition, Yoga or Pilates might be for you and is a great supplement to the other components of your workout.
Remember, start lighter with everything and work your way up. Practice more repititions with perfect form and build consistency in your routine. You will find that you will be more eager to workout if you give your body ample time to rest and do not start out too hard or too fast. Rome wasn't built in a day and we can't make ourselves fit in a week. Don’t try to change your exercises every workout. Give your body time to learn and adapt to your routine. After four weeks or so mix your routine up and slowly start to increase your intensity.
Most importantly, give yourself credit for breaking out those sneakers and getting started on the journey to being younger next year!