What kind of exercise is right for me?

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There are many ways to go about getting exercise. Here are four different fitness activities:

  1. Endurance: Try to build up to at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe hard on most or all days of the week. Every day is best because it builds your energy or “staying power.”   Ten minutes at a time is fine. Note: If you watch an hour TV show and do some kind of exercise on every commercial (walking around the couch is better than sitting through the commercial) you will have given yourself 10 minutes of exercise. If you can talk without any trouble at all, you are not working hard enough. If you can’t talk at all, it’s too hard.
  2. Strength: Exercises using weights to build muscles. Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises (could cause changes in your blood pressure). You should breathe out as you lift and breathe in as you relax. Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you’re probably bending the right way. Always lift with your knees bent.
  3. Balance: Tai Chi, Yoga, walking, ballet.
  4. Flexibility:  Yoga, stretching.

Ways to stay accountable

  • Put yourself on your calendar every day. View this as a commitment and don’t cancel on yourself.
  • Mark four calendar days per week with a physical activity.
  • Create variety in your activity choices so that you have options if the weather is bad or your buddy can’t join you.
  • Commit to a fitness regimen with another person or group. Keep in mind that if the other person doesn’t adhere to his/her commitment, you have to be strong enough to stick with yours.

Tips for persevering

  • Only invest in equipment that you know you’ll use. The best utilized pieces of equipment are a pedometer and shoes that correctly fit your feet and are designed for the type of exercise you’ll be doing.
  • Journal your experiences and evaluate your efforts so you can see your progress.
  • Modify your regimen to keep stimulated and invested.
  • Above all: If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it; don’t stop!