Starting an effective exercise regime

The many benefits of regular exercise to the overall health and well-being of the human body can be seen not only in the physical fitness of an individual, but also in the proper functioning of the systems of the body. Participating in regular exercise, whether it is a structured daily routine or a simple daily walk, burns calories, helping the body maintain an appropriate weight. It also helps the body to control blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels, the key to preventing diabetes, heart disease and other vascular problems. Exercise boosts energy levels and improves mood and even encourages better sleep patterns.

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Exercise regimen tips


The most important tip is to always check with a doctor before starting any exercise program. Whether the goal is to lose weight, to lower blood sugar or cholesterol, or simply to improve overall energy and fitness.


The key to successfully achieving exercise goals is to keep them specific and manageable.  Thirty minutes per day at least three days a week is an ideal place to start.  When starting an exercise program of any kind it is a good idea to start slowly and build from there; breaking-up the daily 30 minutes into 10 or 15 minute increments spread throughout the day is a good way to ease the body into an exercise routine and will also decrease the risk of injury.


Invest in one or two pairs of quality workout shoes. Having support for the foot arches and good cushioning throughout is important to prevent strains and injury. Avoid sneakers with a high top; surrounding the ankle with too much support can actually weaken the joint. Pay attention to how the shoes feel and replace them when the cushioning begins to wear out.


Exercise guidelines


The amounts and types of exercise needed per week vary depending on the age of the person. Babies and toddlers have more limited needs, though they should be active as much as possible, ideally for three hours every day.  Children and young people should exercise for at least one hour every day and should mix a variety of moderate and vigorous-intensity exercises plus activities that will strengthen the muscles and bones. Many sports and activities such as running, gymnastics and martial arts fulfill these intensity and strengthening requirements.


Adults between 19-64 years should ideally be active for at least 150 minutes per day. Activities should include moderate and vigorous-intensity exercises, as well as muscle strengthening and bone strengthening exercises. Adults over the age of 65 years who do not have health or physical problems should try to do at least 150 minutes per day as well, and may select activities including swimming, walking and cycling that have a lower impact on joints but still provide the desired benefits.


Types of exercise


Jogging, lifting weights, and aerobics – these are the standard types of exercises most people would think of when looking for exercise activities.  However, there are a wide variety of different activities that can become part of an exercise regimen.  Those craving a more intense workout may want to pursue organized sports or martial arts, while exercises such as swimming, cycling, yoga and dance can bring equal fitness benefits in very different ways.