If You’re Just Starting A Fitness Program (Again)

messages Dec 06, 2008

I don't mean for the title of this to be rude - it happens to all of us at some point. In order to prevent exercise from being a completely negative experience (I know some of you may already be laughing at that statement, but that's a whole other entry), take it slow and be sure to stretch afterward. Here are a few things that will also be helpful...

1. If 30 seconds on the interval timer is too long, no big deal - go for as long as you can and slowly build up over time.

2. Only choose exercises from the blue "No Sweat" category. As you get stronger and your cardiovascular endurance builds up you can start adding cards from "I'm Glistening" or "Sweating Buckets".

3. If at any point you are feeling true pain, stop immediately. If you are feeling discomfort, you are doing it right. It should be uncomfortable. It should be challenging. If you consistently expose your body to a little bit more stress than what it is used to, your body will adapt by getting stronger. The key is that you have to be consistent, and it has to be uncomfortable.

4. Be sure to stretch after ANY physical activity. It should be something you automatically do - never skip it. Stretching is critical for recovery, it keeps the joints healthy, and improves your range of motion: all which can prevent injury down the road. Be sure to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds, ideally 10-30 seconds. Ten seconds seems like an eternity when you're stretching, so use your timer!

5. Take 1-2 days of recovery between Hit the Deck™ workouts. It's important to stress your body, but it also needs a chance to recover. Recovery is when muscles and systems grow stronger. What does recovery mean? It doesn't mean sitting on the couch. ACTIVE RECOVERY should be your goal. Take a walk, stretch, or do other light activity. Active recovery helps your body recover faster.

The hardest part is just to start. Do it. Do something. Even if it is only for 10 minutes. Then I want you to pay attention to how you feel afterwards. Really pay attention: What is your energy level? What is your stress level? How is your focus? How do you feel about keeping a commitment to yourself? Do you feel better?

This is positive reinforcement and you can achieve these results any time, anywhere.

You can create whatever you want. You just have to start. Do one thing today that makes you a better person.

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