Your doctor has advised you to lose weight. You know that you should. You’ve read article after article about the many benefits of exercise, but where do you start? There are health clubs. Should you join and take your chances with the machines, even though you have no idea how to use them? Will there be someone there to show you how to use the equipment? Where to begin?
It is a good idea to start with a personal trainer, if you have the means. Prices can vary from as low as $20 at some health clubs (look for packages) to $100 or more for independent trainers. Price doesn’t always guarantee quality, however. Make sure that whoever you work with is certified. Ask to see their certification, and, even talk to one of their clients. It is important to know that they work with people of your age and level of skill, as well. It’s usually not a match for you to choose a trainer who typically works with body builders if you are just starting to exercise for the first time in your life at the age of 55. A good trainer will be able to show you how to use the equipment safely and effectively, while building a program that is suited to your particular issues, limitations, and goals.
Every trainer has a different style, so choose one that fits with your personality and will be able to motivate you in a way that will keep you coming back. Many people will use the services of a trainer to start out and then proceed on their own, once they have an idea of what they need to do in order to continue with a safe, effective and healthy fitness routine. This is an efficient and cost effective approach to starting a workout program. If you are a self-starter, this can work well.
One doesn’t need a gym or fancy equipment to begin to get fit, however. All you really need to do is start moving more. Begin by changing the way you think. Are there places that you go that you could walk to instead of driving or taking the bus? Walking is one of the best exercises out there.
If you haven’t been active, begin slowly. Park the car a little further from your destination. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. When you sit, whether in front of the TV or the front porch, take some canned items from the kitchen and use them as weights to lift to the front, sides and overhead. Do knee lifts as you sit, and progress to straight leg lifts. In bed, standing, or on the floor, you can do side and back leg lifts. Crunches on a mat on the floor or in bed are always good.
My personal favorite is push-ups. As I always tell my clients, push-ups are the single best exercise out there. If you can do nothing else, do push-ups, you will be amazed at how fit you can stay. Start by doing them at a counter and work your way down to lower level surfaces.
Once you start to see and feel the benefits of regular exercise, you will want to continue. If you stick with it, it WILL happen. Be patient. I always say that it feels so good to feel good, that you’ll never want to feel any other way. If there is such a thing as the fountain of youth, it is exercise. Not only does exercise help with feeling better physically, but the mental and emotional gains are great, as well. It helps with strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. All of which can keep us strong and independent for as long as possible in our lives. So, do yourself a favor and give yourself the gift of feeling great and begin an exercise program today!
Note: Consult your physician before starting an exercise program.