How to Ease Into Exercise with BistroMD

Ready to exercise but unsure where or how to start? Learn how to ease into exercise in four steps with bistroMD!

How to Ease Into Exercise with BistroMD

Did you know most health benefits of exercise come from at least 150 minutes (or 2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderately intensive physical activity? 

While this may seem like a time commitment, you actually do not have to do longer sessions to get the same benefit! In fact, shorter ‘fun-sized’ sessions provide as many benefits as a full session! (But also feel free to do vigorous exercise if you wish!)

Whether entirely new to exercise or needing to ease back into a routine, follow these exercise steps to gain maximum benefits while ensuring the best safety and health practices. 

Step 1: Increase Movement

If you are mostly sedentary, take a short break every hour and walk around for a few minutes. Also, try these other ways to increase daily movement:

  • Park further away from the store to walk a bit further.
  • Take a stroll with your pets.
  • Cleaning the house and yard work are not considered structured exercises, but can help increase movement when done with purpose. (Also double bonus for getting things tidy!)

Step 2: Structured Exercise

Gradually increase your daily amount of structured exercise. Aim for 30 minutes, 5 days per week (total of 150 minutes) of moderate-intensity per week, including these ideas:

  • Bike 5 miles in 30 minutes.
  • Brisk walk 2 miles in 30 minutes.
  • Water aerobics for 30 minutes.
  • Jump rope for 15 minutes.
  • Dance for 30 minutes.
  • Wheel self in wheelchair for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Strength Training

Add muscle-strengthening/resistance training to maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance. Look for activities that target the major muscle groups and perform about 8-12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week on non-consecutive days. 

Examples of strength training include:

  • Lunges/squats
  • Push-ups/pull-ups
  • Calisthenics
  • Weights

Step 4: Flexibility

Flexibility exercises - such as yoga, pilates, and dynamic stretching - are beneficial activities to incorporate 2-3 days per week to promote flexibility and range of motion. Flexibility exercises and stretches include:

  • Child’s pose
  • Lunge stretch
  • Quad stretch
  • Hamstring curl
  • Spinal twist stretch

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