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How do I get started on a fitness routine?

Congratulations on making the commitment to yourself and taking charge of your body. 

For a full understanding of your health status and general fitness before starting a fitness program, you should see your health care provider for a physical and medical clearance.

The following will help you get started and stick to a fitness program.

To prevent injuries when starting your fitness program, meet with a NASM certified personal trainer for a dynamic postural assessment.  A dynamic postural assessment observes your basic body movements, how your muscles and joints work together, and to look for any imbalances or dysfunctions in your posture alignment that can be corrected

After completing your dynamic postural assessment, I highly recommend beginning your fitness program by completing (for 4 to 6 weeks) the stabilization endurance level of the NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model.

The stabilization phase offers many benefits to prepare your body as you proceed into your fitness training.  The two best stabilization endurance training benefits I found are: preparing your body structure and connective tissues for the stress of strength training, and addressing and correcting restrictive flexibility, muscle imbalances and posture adjustments.

At this point of your training you will notice your mental health improving, while your body feels better and stronger, increasing your desire to commit to your program.

Before beginning any exercise program, you should see your health care provider for a physical and medical clearance. If you are using a personal trainer, be sure that the personal trainer you choose puts you through a comprehensive assessment to evaluate medical history, personal goals and look at your current physical status.

If you are not using a personal trainer, always begin and progress slowly. Begin with light weight, higher repetitions at a slow and controlled tempo at first. This will help prepare your body for the stress of strength training and correct poor movement patterns.  Stay at this lower level of intensity for 4-6 weeks as this will allow for optimal adaptation time. After this you can begin increasing the intensity and durations of the workouts.

Vary workouts to include both cardiovascular and weight training. Some days can be more focused on weight training while others can be focused on cardiovascular training. Make the exercise fun, but working out with a friend. Several studies show that social support greatly improves workout participation rate.

 

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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.