Saturday, February 27, 2010

Question of the Month:

I’m new to fitness. What’s the best way to get started?

Expert’s Response

The most important thing to remember is don’t overdo it. To help get you started without feeling overwhelmed or becoming vulnerable to injury, try these five steps:

1) Make sure you have the right equipment. The correct footwear, such as rubber-soled training shoes; comfortable, breathable clothing; and functioning equipment, such as a treadmill at your gym or even just a few inexpensive resistance bands or hand weights at home. These are all important items to invest in, but they don’t have to cost a lot of money. A fitness DVD can also offer some useful instruction and point you in the right direction. As can a subscription to Oxygen.

2) Spend time strengthening the muscles as well as doing cardio. A well-rounded routine is a great way to get your body comfortable with exercise.

3) Start with a conservative program. Beginning with 10 minutes per piece of equipment, three times per week is ideal for the first week.

4) Stretch afterward. This will help prevent injury. A few light stretches following exercise should be an essential part of your fitness program.

5) Slowly increase the intensity over time. Try adding another exercise in week two. Again, pace yourself and don’t overdo it. In time, you’ll be enjoying a thriving and consistent fitness regimen.

*Make sure you master proper form before increasing either intensity or duration in any routine.

**Also, always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.


Craig Ballantyne, MS, CSCS, CB Athletic Consulting

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