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We all know that exercise is good for us and may improve our over all health. However, getting started with an exercise routine can be confusing and intimidating. I talk to several people a week who are interested in starting exercise but don’t know where to start. Some of their fears include: not knowing how to use the equipment in their gym; uncertainty about how often or what kinds of exercise they should do; and the time commitment to exercise.
Here are a few ideas I suggest to our members in hopes it will ease their fears regarding exercise:
Check out your fitness facility
Call or go into your gym and ask for a tour of their fitness center. There should be an exercise professional on staff who can show you where all the equipment is located as well as how to use the equipment properly. This will help you feel more comfortable in your facility and give you an idea how your gym is set up.
How often and what kind of exercise
First, you want to make sure you’re healthy enough for physical activity by consulting with your doctor. Second, you want to start slow. For a general exercise program for overall heath, including bone and heart health, you want to strive for 30 minutes of cardio exercise (treadmill, stationary bike, anything that gets your heart rate up and breathing harder than normal) 3-5 days per week. You should also include some strength training with weights or weight machines. Ideally you should try to work in eight different weight exercises 2-3 times a week. Try three sets of 10 -12 reps of each exercise. Weight training is important especially as we age. Remember this isn’t a race, work your way up to your desired goal.
People are constantly telling me they can’t find the time to exercise. The truth is, we all live very busy lives. To combat the time crunch, schedule your workouts into your calendar. When you carve out time specifically for exercise and keep it consistent week to week, a habit begins to form. You begin to expect that break and you become more dedicated to that time just for you.
Chelsea Paslick is a Wellness Specialist at the North Lexington Family YMCA. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Kinesiology and has worked for the Y for two years. She is a Certified Personal Trainer (C.P.T.) through the American College of Sports Medicine (A.C.S.M); SilverSneakers certified; and is a certified LIVESTRONG at the YMCA trainer.
Word from the Y’s is a weekly health-and-wellness feature of KyForward.com in cooperation with the experts at the YMCA of Central Kentucky. www.ymcaofcentralky.org