Healthy Tips & Advice

5 Tips For Starting An Exercise Program

Posted on January 4, 2017

The New Year is here and you want to start an exercise program.  You may have many questions on where to start, how do I begin, where should I go etc.  Here are 5 Tips for getting you off on the right foot this New Year.

  1. Consult your Physical Therapist and/or Primary Care Physician First.
    If you have been sedentary for a period of time or coming off injury you will want to consult your physical therapist or healthcare professional prior to kicking off your program. This is especially important if you have underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  2. Set SMART Goals. It is always best to have a plan in place before you start any new endeavor.  SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Realistic goals that you set to help you be successful.  If you were a cross country runner in high school do not go out and think you will immediately be able to run a 10K.  Set a step by step schedule to reach your goal.
  3. Joining a Gym? Make sure to shop around.
    There are many places to work out and so many different fitness programs available to purchase. Make sure you don’t feel pressured when looking at gyms; you want to feel comfortable when choosing the right facility. Don’t pick a place just because it has the best deal. A gym should fit your needs. Make sure it fits your needs, goals and has the necessary equipment.
  4. What about a Personal Trainer?
    It is very important to interview your personal trainer. There are many “certifications” out there that can be attained over a weekend seminar.  Some to look for are the CSCS, ACSM, USAW, NSCA-CPT credentials.  These require a more in-depth level of knowledge and experience. If you are unsure, ask you physical therapist or physician for guidance.
  5. Be prepared for Soreness.  
    When performing any new physical activity, you will feel some degree of muscle soreness. Think about when to snows and you have to clear your walkway.  If you are not used to that activity you will have muscle soreness after.  This is usually seen 24-48 after the activity and generally subsides with time.  Same will hold true with your new exercise routine so be prepared.  Hydration and stretching will help decrease this post exercise soreness.

There you have it!  Good luck with your New Year’s resolution.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our Physical Therapists.

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