Most people say they don’t have the time for physical activity, but adopting a more active lifestyle is not as difficult as it seems.
Choose activities you enjoy
Achieving and maintaining a good state of health is not as difficult as it might seem. You don’t even need a lot of spare time... there's no need to join a gym or start doing sports; all you need to do is change your habits to adopt a more active lifestyle. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day is enough to keep in shape.
It's important to remember that any form of movement constitutes physical activity. You can do it at any time of day; perhaps by simply walking or riding your bike to work, or parking your car farther away from your destination. These good habits will actually make you feel like getting more active, because your body will be telling you that it feels better when it's moving.
Tips on how to start moving active
Start moving as soon as possible, with activities of moderate-intensity, which should then be gradually increased. Include strength, endurance, flexibility and balance exercises.
- It’s recommended to have a medical examination before initiating a physical activity program in order to rule out any problems that might arise while exercising.
- Before you start a training session, be sure to dedicate part of your time to warming up. It's important to exert yourself, but gradually.
- Try to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week. It’s recommended to do 30 minutes of activity every day, or at least five days a week. Even walking at a fast pace to your workplace is good a start.
- Dedicate at least two or three days a week to strength training, with activities that involve all the major muscle groups.
- Try to incorporate stretching exercises at least three times a week in order to improve joint flexibility and balance.
- Choose an activity that you enjoy, so you'll do it regularly and with increasing intensity. Injuries are often caused by exercises performed too quickly or with excessive loads; a lack of proper training increases the risk of getting hurt, because the body is not prepared. Loads should be increased gradually in order to allow your body to adapt to the new weight.
- If you feel any pain during exercise, stop immediately. Pain is always a sign that something isn't right... don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Contact a doctor and schedule a check-up as soon as possible.
- Talk to a trainer who can help you learn the proper technique for doing the exercises, especially if you want to use gym equipment; learning how to lift weights properly will help you improve your strength without the risk of suffering any traumas.
Don’t worry if your body aches the next day: this is normal, because your body needs to adapt. In fact, those aches mean that your muscles had been dormant for quite some time.
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