I am sure you are aware that exercising is good for your physical and mental health, but you may not be one that follows that. Just as an infant builds strength to sit up, push up to stand, and start walking, adults can do this too! When it comes to creating an exercise routine, it just starts with baby steps.
Before you start…ON YOUR MARK,
Reflect on what has prompted your decision to start being more active. Is it due to health issues or concerns? Is your diabetes getting a bit out of control? Or is the thyroid medication you have been taking starting to show some extra pounds? Do you want to prevent the problems before they happen?
- Set a goal! Write down where you want to be in 30 days. Don’t strive for long-term goals just yet, write something tangible down. Use the SMART concept shown in the photo above.
- Think about the benefits of starting to exercise and write those down as well, they turn into your positive affirmations that you will want to reflect on when the times get rough.
- Prepare how you are going to track your progress. Is there an exercise app you want to use? Or perhaps, your watch counts steps and movements for you. If so, plan what you want to have as your minimum each day to achieve your 30-day goal. If you just like tracking it on good old paper, that is fine too, just make sure to put it in a very visible space for you (and others to keep you accountable).
Have a good pair of shoes (unless you are swimming 😜)
What is going to motivate you while you are exercising? Do you have music or someone exercising with you to keep you distracted in those harder moments to push through?
Wear the right clothing! Make sure you are in comfortable clothing. Don’t be the person that has to have too many layers on to make sure you sweat, you aren’t there yet.
STRETCH – Take a few moments and stretch. You will be working muscles that haven’t been utilized much lately so make sure to not strain them right off the bat.
While exercising, focus on your breathing. When first starting out, don’t overdo it. Just revel in the fact you are moving and doing more than you were before. Listen to your body and focus on your form with whatever you are doing.
Make sure you stay hydrated, drink that water, before, during, and especially after! That will replenish sore muscles and keep the aches and pains away. Make sure to have a slow-down period and stretch again when done. If you are diabetic, make sure to check your numbers regularly to see how exercising plays into your body.
Some additional resources to check out for building up exercising/suggestions of fun exercise activities:
At DETS, we focus on your wellness, not illness. We hope this article inspires you to start moving if you don’t currently, continue to exercise if you already have a routine, or try something new. If you need some help getting started, perhaps seeing one of our providers is the first best step. All of our practitioners are well-versed in helping get sedentary people up and moving to better their health. Whether it is a yearly check-up and labs to make sure you are heading in the right direction or a meeting with one of our dietitians, we are here to help.