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Starting a Realistic Exercise Routine

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Regular exercise is a great way to take care of your body. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes each week and muscle-strengthening activities two times per week.

Many adults cite busy schedules as a reason regular exercise isn't feasible. However, getting enough exercise often comes down to prioritizing movement and getting creative with planning. Consider these tips to start a realistic routine:

  • Start sensibly. Begin with short sessions and increase the time and difficulty. If you overdo it, you may experience muscle soreness and quit.

  • Choose a fun workout. Find an activity you enjoy—or are good at—and incorporate it into your routine. You're more likely to stick with the workouts if you're having fun.

  • Move when your energy is the highest. You may see the best results when working out during your peak hours. Some people also like to work out in the morning before other things come up during the day.

  • Schedule workouts. Putting workouts on your calendar can help you commit to a routine. If you need to change the scheduled workout, reschedule it on your calendar immediately.

It may also help to work out with a friend or personal training to help you stay accountable. Before you start working out, visit your doctor for a checkup and to discuss your desire to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.

Types of Exercise

There are so many ways to move your body, so knowing where to start may be overwhelming. Here are some common types of exercise:

  • Aerobic—Any type of cardiovascular conditioning or “cardio” (e.g., running, jump roping and biking)

  • Bootcamp—High-intensity circuits combining aerobic and strength exercises

  • Flexibility—Stretching to aid in muscle recovery, your range of motion and injury prevention

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)—Repetitions of short bursts of high- and lowintensity exercises

  • Strength training—Weightlifting or resistance trainin

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