Before you begin any exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise and ask if you should limit your exercise in any way.
- Go slow. Start with a daily 15-minute walk, and gradually quicken your pace and increase distance.
- Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. Do two, 15-minute spurts if necessary.
- Add strengthening activities at least twice a week.
Aerobic activities, like bicycling, dancing, brisk walking/jogging and swimming, increase your heart rate for a specific amount of time and require your body to use more oxygen.
Build strong muscles and bones with regular muscle-strengthening exercises.
- Begin with a five- to 10-minute warm-up.
- Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 repetitions.
- Lift free weights or use weight machines. Try cans of food or household items if you are not in a gym.
- Use resistance bands.
Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi will help improve joint flexibility, strengthen and lengthen your muscles, and improve your balance.
Stop if you feel pain!
Experts recommend one full day of rest between strength training workouts to allow specific muscle groups time to recover.
The key to success is to set an achievable goal, perhaps starting with a 15-minute walk three days a week. Consider using a pedometer and gradually increase steps per day. And remember to reward your success! Buy new workout gear or download a new song or audiobook.