Exercise is a vital component of living a healthy lifestyle, as it helps increase metabolism, aids in weight loss and maintenance and prevents a variety of diseases. If you want to get in shape or increase your fitness level but don’t know where to start, you can follow some basic tips to get physically fit and enjoy a healthier, longer life with a comprehensive exercise program.
Exercise at least five times a week for 30 minutes each session. According to the the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week to stay healthy. Choose an aerobic exercise that you enjoy, such as running, cycling, walking, swimming, dancing or skiing, and you will be more likely to stick with your program.
Lift weights two to three times a week. Use free weights, such as dumbbells, or use weight machines at your local gym or fitness center. Weights help strengthen, build and tone muscles and boost your overall metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat. In general, it's good to do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for each weight exercise you do.
Eat nutritiously. Choose foods that are low in fat and calories and stay away from fast food and processed foods. Incorporate a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein sources (lean meat, nuts, beans or soy) and low-fat dairy foods into your diet. Cut back on snack foods, such as chips and candy, as they offer little to no nutrients and lots of extra calories.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Water helps flush fats and toxins out of your system and aids with digestion and weight loss. Staying hydrated is also important to help your muscles perform well so you can avoid cramps while working out. In addition, water helps suppress your appetite and can make you feel full.
Consult with your physician for specific guidelines for your individual body type, condition and age before starting a physical fitness program.
If you feel any sharp or prolonged pain while working out, stop exercising and call your doctor immediately as you may have sustained an injury and need treatment.