- Stretching and warm up – Don’t directly rush into your activity. Those stiff cold muscles will never forgive you and you’ll feel it via a pulled muscle or, God forbid, worse. Some ways to warm up are walking, jogging, biking on a stationary cycle, or doing jumping jacks. About ten minutes of warming up must be followed up with stretching moves.
- Daily exercise – Remember – exercise cannot be a one time activity. It is neither healthy, or smart. I remember when my friend and I enrolled for aerobics class (ages ago), the instructor warned us, threatened us – that if we did not turn up the next day, we were out of the class. We wondered why he said that. And discovered it for ourselves – because we couldn’t move the next morning. But we did get ourselves out there somehow the next day. We thought we were dead because the only thing we felt was pain. Thanks to mutual encouragement and Mom’s motivation, we continued the class and found that those stiff muscles (that was what the pain was all about) vanished in three or four days. Moral of the story? Exercise for at least 4-5 days a week. Set aside a time, make a plan and stick to it. Get a buddy – it is always easier that way. Keep that mood up by being physically active otherwise, also. This means opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, walking your dog, walking to work, gardening, biking…use your imagination. Sweat!
- It is a good idea to go for some kind of sports that you enjoy. Remember to take the necessary precautions to stay safe – which means gear if it is available. If you prefer brisk walking or jogging, get proper shoes that are comfortable and use those shoes only for walking. Make a plan to increase speed/time as you progress.
- Listen to your body talk. If you find the activity you have chosen too strenuous, it is probably not for you. Now me, I hate jogging because everything jiggles and that sucks. As we grow older (there, I said it again!), there’s the risk of damaging something in the works inside our body because it lacks the flexibility it once had.
- Go in for a workout that focuses on balance, flexibility, strength and endurance. Balance helps avoid injuries. And getting some workout the focuses on more than one thing will keep you from getting bored. You know what they say about variety.
- Be careful if you are doing your chosen activity or sport for the first time. If you happen to have a medical condition and are under treatment for it, please do consult a professional who can advise you about the best physical activity that will help improve your health, while letting you avoid any injury or – make your problems worse.