Taking Intimidation Out of Fitness

By now, most of us know how important it is to exercise. But it can still be a challenge to get started. A large part of it is the unknown – many people don’t know what to do or how to begin.

Here are answers to a few common questions people have when starting a fitness routine:

How do I make time to exercise when my schedule is packed?

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate physical exercise. The good news is that exercise is cumulative. So even if you can only squeeze in 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during the afternoon and 10 minutes in the evening, it counts as 30 minutes for the day. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to challenge your heart, lungs, muscles, joints and neuromotor system. So you might try 10 minutes of stair climbing, 10 minutes of body weight exercises and 10 minutes of brisk walking.

I track my steps every day – is this enough?

Wearable fitness trackers are all the rage and people sometimes believe all they need to do is hit 10,000 steps a day to stay physically fit. While tracking your steps is a great way to get started, it shouldn’t be the only exercise you get. You need to challenge yourself to see improvement.

What should I include in my workouts?

The best way to get fit is to include a variety of exercises that work different parts of your body. Try to include these four components in your workout plan:

  • Cardiovascular training – These exercises challenge your heart and lungs. For example, running, cycling, stair climbing, rowing or using an elliptical machine. Some group exercise classes also focus on cardiovascular training.
  • Resistance training – This type of training helps improve muscular endurance and may include body weight training, kettle bells, dumbbells, body bars or resistance bands. The key is to mix it up so your body stays challenged and you keep getting stronger.
  • Neuromotor training – This is functional exercise that improves your balance, coordination, agility, power and speed. Neuromotor skills tend to decline with age, which reduces your ability to perform common tasks and may eventually lead to falls. With neuromotor training, you’ll stay fit and strong as you age.
  • Flexibility training – Stretching, foam rolling and yoga are a few ways to improve flexibility and range of motion.

What should I look for in a fitness center or gym?

Not all fitness centers and gyms are created equal. If you’re thinking about joining a club, be picky. Look for a place with accredited and qualified staff. Anyone can say they’re a personal trainer, but it doesn’t mean they understand your goals or are qualified to create a program for you. At Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness, we only hire certified personal trainers – many who also have a degree in exercise science or kinesiology, so they have knowledge of the human body and how it works.

Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness also offers free fitness profiles for members. This includes a weigh-in, measurements, body fat percentage and more. We can also do functional movement assessments that can help determine weak spots and areas to improve.

If you’re not currently a member, we encourage you to talk to one of our membership advisors to get a free pass and try out our facilities.

To learn more about the benefits of exercise, visit us online.  To make an appointment online with a Healthy Driven doctor and learn how to establish an exercise plan, visit us here.
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