5 tips for starting a fitness program

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It’s never too late to start exercising. No matter your age, the benefits that come from being active are endless, and include a healthy body weight, improved self-confidence, reduction of stress and more. If you’re new to exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you stay healthy and reach your fitness goals:

1. Have a plan

It’s easy to tell yourself you’re going to workout more, but if you don’t actually have a plan in place, it’s not likely that you’ll stick to that goal. Whether you jot your workouts down on a calendar or set a reminder in your phone, scheduling it into your week can help you stay on track.

2. Maintain proper form

Whether you’re going for a run, swimming or lifting weights, maintaining the correct form is crucial. Doing an exercise wrong can increase your chance for injury. Proper form also ensures that you’re getting the most out of your workout. When you’re running, for instance, always keep your torso upright, and be sure to slide your arms forward and back, rather than across your chest.

3. Find a workout you enjoy

If you hate running, why put yourself through that? It’s important to find a form of exercise that you enjoy, because this increases the chances that you’ll stick to it. Looking for an alternative form of cardio? Consider swimming, which is easy on your joints and muscles, but still gives you an effective cardio workout. You can also try dance, even if your dance moves aren’t exactly Beyonce-worthy.

4. Set attainable goals

You may want to eventually run a marathon, but that’s a goal that’s fit for the long term. Instead, set more easily attainable goals by working to increase your speed or distance each week that you run. It’s better to start slowly and give your body time to adjust to the intensity of your workouts.

5. Take care of your body

Whether you do Pilates or love to run, make sure you’re listening to your body. It’s natural to be sore, but if you’re experiencing pain, it might be time to stop and evaluate what’s wrong. Be sure to stretch before each workout, and follow up particularly intense exercise regimens with personal massage. A quick self-massage can prevent your muscles from feeling ultra sore the next day.

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