Small Steps Can Lead to a Marathon
By Audrey Turner, EP
The perfect exercise plan doesn’t have to be time-consuming. It just needs to be engaging enough so that you’ll stick with it. Starting a regular exercise program is one of the best things you can do to improve your health. The American College of Sports Medicine states that everyone should try for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-5 days per week. Daily exercise can lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, aid in weight loss, improve mobility, help decrease stress and anxiety, lower the risks of chronic diseases such as diabetes, and increase your life expectancy. But the best part is that you can make it fun, keeping you from dropping out of your fitness routine.
Try not to overdo it in the beginning. Starting out small and gradually increasing is the way to go. Have you ever felt so motivated to start your new workout program only to quit after a day or two because it was too hard? The point should be to be consistent and make a habit or routine of the exercise first and as the exercise gets easier gradually increase your effort. If you are so sore you can’t move, you probably won’t stick with it long enough to achieve your fitness goals.
So, be sure to start YOUR exercise routine at YOUR level! If that means starting with 10 minutes of walking each day that’s fine because the exercise always gets easier! You can gradually increase as you go along. Here’s an example of such a fitness plan:
Week 1: Walk 10 minutes 2-3 times daily to start
Week 2: Increase it to walking 10-15 minutes 3 times daily
Week 3: Walk 15-20 minutes 3 times daily
Week 4: Next increase it to20-30 minutes 2-3 times daily
Before long you will be walking for at least an hour each day!