Here are some tips to help you make exercise a lifelong routine
Make short term goals. Big change does not occur over night. With time, you will notice you have improved and made strides toward your target exercise goal.
Find an activity that fits into your schedule
- Pick a time of day that you feel the best to exercise. Write it down as you would other appointments.
- Don’t depend on exercise classes to meet your exercise needs. If you miss the class one day, use that time to take a walk outside or in the mall.
- If you choose an outside activity, plan for exercise you can do inside on bad weather days. This may require calling a mall, joining a club or community center, or purchasing a piece of indoor equipment.
Keep an exercise record
- Write down the type of activity you did, how long you did it, your RPE (rating of perceived exertion) or target heart rate and any comments you would like to write down. After a few weeks, you will be able to see were you started and the progress you have made.
Exercise should be fun
- Choose a type of exercise you enjoy.
- You may want to rotate activities – walk one day and bike the next.
- Listen to music or watch TV during exercise if your activity is indoors.
- Find an exercise "buddy" or group to walk or cycle with.
- Try new types of exercise. Take a water-walking class or dance exercise. Join a community tennis or golf program. It is a good way to try new activities and meet new friends.
Make exercise a habit
- You must follow your exercise program for several months to make it part of your daily routine.
- At first, if you do not exercise regularly one week, start again the following week. Soon, you will find you want to exercise or you miss it!
Make exercise a family fun time
- Instead of doing something that requires sitting (watching a movie or TV), you and your family can take a walk or bike-ride. It is a great way to see nature, explore new places and have healthy fun.
For more information about exercise
- Exercise for Your Heart Health, Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Program, Cleveland, Ohio 216.444.9353
- Keeping the Heart Healthy, In (E. Topol, ed.) Cleveland Clinic Heart Book , Hyperion: New York. pp.19-43.
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