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WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED WITH EXERCISE?


If the only workout you’ve done over the past few weeks is to think about starting exercise, then it’s time to get started for real. Here’s how to get up, establish a fitness routine, even one right at home today with just a chair and then stay motivated to get you back to life.

Lets Get Moving!

Focus on What You Love About You Now
People often focus on their fitness goals—a certain dress size, weight, or athletic achievement, for instance—without appreciating where their bodies are now. Those are great goals to have. But it is equally important to focus on your positive aspects also. Make a list of what you have been able to do in the past, what you think you do well now, and then add to that list what you want to be able to do.

 

Take Some Selfies
In order to accurately track your progress, it’s helpful to identify your starting point and then define your goal. Take some measurements of your body and some photos so you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come. Throw on whatever you feel comfortable in and then take a video with your smart phone to capture your body from all angles. Do this every two to four weeks to track your progress. If you want to get more detailed, you might also want use a tape measure and track measurements in your biceps, waist, hips, bust, and thigh areas so you can see you’re losing inches. This is helpful for those weeks when it seems the scale hasn’t budged but you find out you are making great progress.

 

Start Small
So you haven’t lifted a weight in years. So what? Give yourself a break. The first week you’re easing back into exercising, start small. Know that any movement is good movement. Commit to doing 10 minutes of an exercise video or walking for exercise three days this week. This will help you establish behaviors and create the habit you want to have in place.  Grab a chair and do this chair routine right at home to get started.

 

Make One Change at a Time
The first week you intend to exercise, look ahead at your schedule and establish modest changes to your routine. On Sunday night, commit to getting your exercise clothes out for the next day and then setting your alarm to wake up 30 minutes earlier on Monday.

 

Overcome Your Fear of the Gym
The gym can be an intimidating place for many of us, and if you’re overweight, obese, or just plain inexperienced you might be afraid that people are staring or judging you. Be assured that they are all focusing on themselves.  Start with cardio machines to build up your comfort level, or bring some weights to a quiet area of the gym or an empty studio to start training by yourself. You could also ask the fitness professionals at the gym for help getting set up on certain equipment to make sure you’re using it properly.

 

Expect to Fail Occasionally
There will be times when life will get crazy and you’ll temporarily be derailed. But the difference between failing on a diet or fitness routine and succeeding is that you pick yourself up from the fall and keep going, or you use it as an excuse to quit. Just like you would if you were faced with an issue in the workplace, identify the problem and take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

 

Be Ready for Week Three
Between week three and week four is the classic time when people quit their exercise routines. Buy a new workout outfit, begin a new fitness DVD, try a new class at your gym, download some new songs, buy new shoes, or reward yourself with a massage or mani/pedi pampering session. Anything that can help you get back on tract.

 

Look Beyond Weight Loss
Exercise for the health benefits that aren’t related to weight loss, like feeling more energized, happier, calmer, and experiencing better sleep. When you don’t feel like exercising, remind yourself of how good you’ll feel during or after exercise.

 

Find Something You Can Stick With
The best exercise is the one you enjoy and will keep doing. If you hate boot camp workouts or can’t see yourself making a weekly commitment to yoga, move on to something you’ll look forward to showing up for. That workout could be a dance class, spinning, ballet-inspired barre workouts, or walking with friends. You want to make this experience as pleasant as possible.

 

Do It for Yourself
If you made a promise to anyone else in your life—your husband, child, boss, or friend—you would do stick to it, but because it’s you and because you can somehow always negotiate with yourself, you might not stick to your commitment. So if you hit snooze a few times one morning and skipped your early workout, find time to get those 30 minutes in later in the day. Treat the fitness and health commitments you make for yourself like you would your job, family, and friendships.

Address Any Musculoskeletal Issues You May Have
If there are any physical problems or injuries that have had in the past or that have recently stopped you from exercising, consider getting that fixed so you can get back to doing what you love. Many people fear making their conditions worse with any active exercise when in fact the opposite is true; a properly structured recovery program can not only help you get active, it can help reduce chronic injury once and for all.

Try some of the things above and give it your best shot.  If you've tried everything above and still need help getting started, consider giving the experts in physical therapy and athletic training at Emery Physical Therapy a call at 847-786-2014 or make an online appointment below. Our experienced staff is able to treat a variety of different conditions effectively so you can get back to what you enjoy.  We offer a Free Consult in order to determine what your problem is and what can be done for it.  We have worked with thousands of patients to help them recover and get back to living their life to the fullest. 

So what are you waiting for?  Its time to Get Back to Life!