Monday, August 13, 2012

Top Tips for Starting a Physical Activity Program and Being Successful

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, or at least more days than not. If you're trying to lose weight, you should get at least 60 minutes each day. If you can't find 30 minutes or an hour in your schedule, break up your activity into 15 minute increments.
  1. Dress for success-wear comfortable clothes and sneakers.
  2. Start slowly- gradually build up to 30 min on most days of the week.
  3. Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. I.e. Walk every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00-12:30pm. 
  4. Make the time- Find a convenient time and place and make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way. 
  5. Drink a cup of water before, during and after exercising.
  6. You'll be more likely to stick with it if you have company-- Ask family and friends to join you or join an exercise group, health club or the YMCA. Many churches and senior centers offer exercise programs too. 
  7. Choose activities that are fun and add variety to keep your interest high! I.e. walk, swim, bike, or listen to music.
  8. Look for chances to be more active during the day. I.e. take the stairs or take 10–15 minute walking breaks while watching TV.
  9. Don't get discouraged if you stop for a while. Gradually start again and work up to your old pace.
  10. Don't exercise right after meals or when it's very hot or humid.
  11. Track your activities on a calendar or logbook. Write down the distance or length of time and how you feel after each session. If you miss a day, plan a make-up day or add 10–15 minutes to your next session.
  12. Celebrate  your success! Reward yourself at milestones. Nothing motivates like success!
AHA Getting Started-Tips for Long-Term Success

What other tips do you have to be successful at exercising regularly and having a healthier heart?!

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