If you practice a good habit for 30 days straight, you are more likely to follow it for a long time. So start this month off right by making exercise part of your daily routine. Here’s how to get started:
- Check with your doctor. Talk your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Why? Your doctor can tell you what types of exercise are best for you based on your personal health history or possible disease risk factors.
- Make fitness fun. Are you a social butterfly? Then walking by yourself through the neighborhood probably isn’t for you. Hate crowds? Then you might not have fun in a fitness class. Find a workout you will enjoy – it will go a long way towards helping you stay inspired to keep exercising.
- Ease into exercise. The best way to burn out is to try to do too much, too fast. Ease into a your workout routine gradually. Aim for 20 to 45 minutes of cardio three to five times a week. If you can only do 10 minutes of walking at a stretch, start there and gradually increase your time each day. Add strength training into your routine twice a week. Use weights that are hard for you to lift, but not so hard that you cannot do eight repetitions of a given exercise. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down when exercising.
- Skip the scale. Avoid dwelling on the changes you aren’t seeing yet – such as a drop in your weight. Focus on the benefits you are noticing, such as your increased energy level from exercising.
- Bring a buddy. Get friends, family or coworkers to join in. It’s harder to skip your workout when you know someone else is counting on you to show up.
Does an elliptical machine burn more calories than running on a treadmill if set at similar levels? While it is hard to determine how many calories are burned on machines, experts believe running on a treadmill burns more calories than doing the elliptical machine, if they are on similar settings. However, burning fewer calories isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since 30 minutes on the elliptical works both your arms and legs and is gentler on the joints (calculations based on a 130-pound woman).