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How can I start exercising if i'm out of shape?

If you are out of shape and have not exercised in some time, it is approprate to let your doctor know you are going to be starting a new program.  Just double check to make sure there isn't anything that has come up that might conflict with your program.

Next, find a personal trainer at your local gym.  This way you can find your starting point.  By discussing your specific goals, you can see where you are, where you are going and the difference between your long term goals and short term goals.  We all have both so we don't get bogged down.  These results will be recorded so you don't lose track and have good comparisons of where you started and where you are now.

In general, flexibility, core and stability will be worked first.  As this progresses, strength exercises will be added.
After the strength exercises are going well we add in power exercises.  Your certified personal trainer will be able to show you variables for each section as well as appropriate exercises to meet that goal.  Before you know it, you will be in shape again and searching for the next challenge!
JJ Virgin
Health Education
Start with a 30-minute walk and gradually increase. Burst training, which takes just minutes but makes you an all-day fat-burning machine, is the most effective, efficient way to exercise. I combine burst training with weight resistance.
If you are out of shape but otherwise healthy, you should start exercising for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, three to five days a week. Over time, slowly increase to the recommended 150 minutes per week (30 minutes at least five days per week). It is important to increase exercise duration slowly so that your body is allowed to adjust if you have been inactive for some time. You can also choose to start with brisk walking and then progress to jogging or running. Choose an activity that you will find enjoyable. If you a male over 45 years old, a female over 55 years old or if you are unsure if you are healthy enough to exercise, consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

If you're very out of shape, it can be intimidating to think about going to the gym. In this video, Dr. Oz's personal trainer Donovan Green demonstrates a workout that can be done from the comfort of your own couch.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.