Before you pop in that new workout DVD or start that dumbbell circuit, there are some important factors you’ll need to consider, especially if you’re just starting out. Below is a short list of items you should address before your first workout.
1. Consult Your Physician. First thing – check with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to exercise. Although moderate physical activity is generally safe for most people, you should discuss your exercise plans with your doctor. This step is especially important if you suffer from any chronic medical conditions or take medications. Your doctor will make you aware of any limitations or adjustments you’ll need to make to your home workout plan. Trust me here – don’t blow this one off!
2. Identify Your Workout Area. Do you know which room you’ll be using for your workouts? Will you be outside? The good news is that you don’t need a ton of space. Just be sure to give yourself a clear path, and watch out for things like ceiling fans. (Don’t try jumping rope under one!) Ideally, your workout area should be well-ventilated, temperature-controlled and have adequate ceiling height. Avoid areas where temperatures are extreme.
3. Set Exercise Goals. You need to determine what you want to accomplish with your home workout plan. Are you looking to lose weight? Do you want to increase muscle mass? Or are you trying to reduce your blood pressure medication? Your goals need to be both specific and realistic. Setting exercise goals not only dictates the type and amount of exercise you’ll need to do, but will serve as great motivation to stick with your program.
4. Get the Right Equipment. This will vary depending on the nature of your home workout program. But if you plan to do some resistance training (which I hope you do), I suggest you at least purchase the essentials – dumbbells, stability ball and a mat. Even if you initially just intend to do body weight exercises, you’ll eventually want to have those pieces of equipment in your arsenal. Also, make sure you have the proper footwear, especially if you want to include activities such as running.
5. Make a Schedule and Stick to it! You first need to figure out how much time you can realistically devote to your home workouts. There are many scheduling options, but figure on doing something at least 3 days per week for 30 – 60 minutes. Next, you need to determine the days and times that work best for you. Be sure to pick times when you’re the least interrupted. First thing in the morning is a great time for a workout, but that’s up to you. Once you figure out your schedule, mark them on your calendar and treat them like important doctor’s appointments. Let nothing else interfere!
Take care of these housekeeping items before you plan to do your first workout and you’ll be ready to go!
I hope that helps,
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