What do you want to get out of the exercise program?
What you want to achieve as a whole fitness program has to do with the kind of program that will work for you in the long run. You may want to ask yourself what you want to accomplish, do you want to lose weight, do you want to stay in shape.
Maybe you just want to reduce some of the stress in your life. Maybe you want to improve your overall health or increase your muscle strength.
If your goal is to lose weight, then start with a low impact or very low impact activity like walking, and eventually work up to 30 minutes every day.
If your goal is to strengthen your muscles, then get some free weights or exercise equipment with a book or videotape.
Or if you want to gain improved flexibility, then you can try yoga or simple stretching that covers your major muscle groups.
Before you start any exercise program, especially if you're over 40, or have any health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease or if you smoke, you need to speak with your doctor to get the thumbs up first.
Where's the best place to exercise?
This is a question you need to ask yourself. Do you want to do it in your home or health club? Actually one place is not better than the other. The choice comes down to will you go to the health club or will you exercise in your home.
Home exercise factors
Exercising at home can definitely be cheaper than exercising at a health club. If you are going to exercise in the home, get a good pair of running or walking shoes, an exercise mat, adjustable dumbbells and you're ready to go.
For some people the best part of a home exercise program is they have privacy. If you are the kind of person who can stick with an exercise program alone at home, then go for it. If you need stimulation from others and enjoy being around a group of people, then a health spa would be fine for you.
More equipment and professional guidance at a health club
For some people a fitness club works better than home. Health clubs have a variety of exercise options--personal fitness trainers and other people who share a common interest.
One of the nice things about a health club is you can work it around your schedule. You can exercise early in the morning before you go to work or stop by the health club on your way home.
The only drawback could be the cost of the membership. You'll have to weigh the expense with what you want to accomplish.
Another option for a workday routine
There's still another direction you can do and that is to get together with your coworkers for lunch and walk or jog.
Many people do have a great regimen with regularly scheduled lunchtime exercise programs. You just might be one of them
Deciding where to exercise comes down to picking the place that offers you the best comfort and the one that works best with your lifestyle.
Copyright 2005 Fern Kuhn, RN
Specializing in Diabetes
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