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POST TIME: 7 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
How to start exercising when you’re out of shape

How to start 
exercising when 
you’re out of shape

Though you may face challenges if you're carrying excess weight or haven't been active in a long time, you can still get fit and gain all the benefits that exercise has to offer. The easiest way to get started is with walking because it's low-impact and low-risk, and all you need is a pair of supportive walking or running shoes. Begin by scheduling one dedicated walk each day, and then find opportunities to take additional steps, like going window-shopping at lunch or walking in place instead of sitting while watching TV. You might like the impetus of a home treadmill, which you can set at a slow speed to start.

Another simple way to exercise at home is to get more dynamic with everyday activities. For example, pick up the pace as you do household chores, and work in sessions that are at least 10 minutes long.

You can also dive into exercise by working out in water, whether you swim or take a water fitness class. Water makes you feel lighter and more agile, so many people find it easier to move in a pool than on dry land.

Riding a stationary bike is also less strenuous on your body than weight-bearing exercises, even walking. Try a recumbent bike; its seat is lower to the ground and your legs will be extended, which may feel more comfortable to you.

Just don't let enthusiasm put you at risk of burnout by doing too much too soon. Increase the length and the intensity of your workouts at a slow, steady pace as you progress.

Every exercise plan begins with a single step. If you are extremely out of shape, focus on short-term goals so that you do not feel overwhelmed. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity every week, the equivalent of 30 minutes five days per week. In addition, you should spend a couple of 20-minute sessions per week doing strengthening and flexibility activities.

The simplest way to begin a fitness plan is to incorporate walking into your daily life. Set small goals such as parking further from where you work or taking an evening stroll around the neighborhood with family.

Use a pedometer to measure the number of steps you walk. After a week, divide the total number of steps by the number of days you walked to get your average number of steps per workout. Spend the next week slowly adding to your number of steps so that the week totals another 1,000 steps. Your long-term goal should be to walk 10,000 steps per day.

Before you stretch, warm up your muscles by marching in place for five minutes. You can do simple stretches such as raising your arms overhead and then bending over to touch your toes. Rotate various joints by circling your ankles and wrists, and twisting at the waist. Boost flexibility by doing some basic yoga poses. Once you feel ready, move through a series of yoga sun salutations, which also raises your heart rate.

HealthDay