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Exercise 101: Starting a New Fitness Program

By Res-Q editor April 6, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Warm weather is coming and you have decided this is the year you will get into shape. You will lace up your sneakers and get moving. You will trade in your muffin top for a tank top. You will feel younger! Energized! Slimmer! Good for you – that’s the spirit!

One quick question before you start: Do you know what you’re doing? If the answer is no, follow this advice from our medical advisors and you’ll be on the path to looking and feeling your best. And remember, if you haven’t been active in quite a while, you may want to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, just to make sure there aren’t any limitations based on your health.

Ready to get started? To do it safely, your exercise routine should consist of:

  • 15-minute warm up – This is essential and it’s a step many people skip. A warm up minimizes stress on your heart. Plus it gets your muscles ready for more vigorous exercise, which minimizes your potential for injury.


  • Cardio workout – Shoot for 60 minutes most days of the week. If you can’t do 60 minutes, that’s OK; do as much as you can. Choose any activity you like and go for it, whether it’s walking, dancing, hiking, biking, jogging, spinning, kickboxing – you get the point. Variety is the spice of life.


You should aim to work at 70-80 percent of your heart rate maximum. The easiest way to figure out your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. Too much math for you? A good rule of thumb is you should be able to carry on a clipped conversation. Working out alone? Make sure you can sing “Happy Birthday.”


  • 15-minute cool down – You should never just stop your activity in mid-stride. Slow down whatever you are doing until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute. This will allow your blood vessels to become less dilated and let your muscles start to cool down.


  • Stretching – Taking the time to stretch after you work out will help you continue to cool down and it will improve your flexibility, which can help prevent future injury. Don’t miss this step or you will feel sore tomorrow. You should stretch to the point of discomfort, but not pain.


Sounds pretty simple so far, right? Certain supplements can help make it even easier. Here’s a snapshot:

What are you waiting for? Get moving and good luck with your spring fitness goals!

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