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How to Start and Keep Up with Your Exercise Routine

There are many benefits to adding exercise to your daily schedule. It can help reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke, strengthen bones and muscles and improve your mood. It can still be difficult to start exercising, especially if you are not already physically active.

Experts recommend at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week and two or more days per week of strength-training activities. By including both kinds of activity, you can create the best overall workout for your body.

Choose a physical activity that you can begin at a slower pace—like walking. It allows you to increase your speed gradually instead of trying to keep up with an intense jogging program. Then, you can keep challenging yourself by increasing your speed and your distance.

You have several different exercise options for strengthening your muscles. These include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups or sit-ups. Start with a smaller number of repetitions and keep adding more in order to fully work your muscles.

If you are unable to keep a steady workout schedule, try setting dates and times when you are available with reminders on a calendar or your phone. This can help you build an exercise schedule that fits more easily into your daily life.

Ask friends or family, who are also interested in becoming more physically active, to join you. When you exercise with other people, you can encourage each other to keep moving, and you are less likely to miss a workout.

If you start to lose interest, change your activities or learn new ones. Add a bike ride, go for a hike or play a sport, like basketball or tennis. Adjusting your fitness routine and varying your exercises can help keep you from becoming burned out.

Try using fitness apps, activity trackers and websites to help you stay updated on your progress. These tools can also help give you confidence to set and reach new exercise goals. For instance, think about training for a future 5K by reaching smaller target points and building your body strength and energy.

No matter what exercise routine you decide to follow, you’ll be taking important steps to making positive changes in your lifestyle and your health. Just remember to take it at your own pace.

Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.