This week I’ve talked about exercise, namely, references exercise in Scripture and spiritual reasons to exercise. What if you want to start your own exercise routine (I hope you do!)? Here are some suggestions for beginning exercisers.
- Check with your doctor.I write a great deal about disability, and it would be quite easy to become disabled because you started an exercise regimen you couldn’t physically do. Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that you’re physically up to doing what you plan to do.
- Set a goal.I have a goal of swimming 300 miles in 2016, and I’m well on my way to doing that. My goal gives me something to work for and motivates me to give my best at every workout.
- Do something you enjoy.You won’t stick with an exercise routine if you choose something you hate. My neurologist thinks I might be able to ride a stationary bicycle, but I haven’t tried. Honestly, I’m afraid my legs would feel worse than jello when I finished, and, to be perfectly frank, I wouldn’t enjoy an exercise bike all that much. But, put me in some cool water and let me swim, and I’m in heaven.
- Have realistic expectations.I’m never going to be a Michael Phelps no matter how much or how hard I swim. My elder son is playing football next season, but I don’t expect him to be starting for the Alabama Crimson Tide the following season (although that would be pretty groovy!). Know that you’ll likely never be a superior athlete but you can get in shape and stay in shape.
- Start slowly.Don’t expect to run a marathon after jogging around the block a couple times. Work your way methodically to your goal. It took me nearly a year of swimming to be able to do a mile without stopping and sometimes that mile still seems a bit elusive. I’ve stopped worrying about distance so much and started focusing on speed, and I’m slowly making progress in getting faster.
- Get a buddy.A gym buddy – someone to hold you accountable and keep you on track and give you company – is a great asset when you first start exercising. I have some friends who hold me accountable; although they live some distance from me, they help keep me moving in the right direction.
There are just a few of the steps I’ve taken to get moving. What have you done to help you?