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Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

How to Exercise the Right Way

There is no doubt regular exercise is beneficial, as it helps regulate weight and reduces the risk of a multitude of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. And while exercise is encouraged over no exercise, there are proper ways exercise to ultimately prevent injury and exert effective results.

How to Exercise the Right Way

How to Exercise Properly

1. Consult with Your Doctor
Although many conditions can improve and benefit from exercise, it is still a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any sort of workout regimen. Their guidance and expertise can help tailor recommendations to fit personal needs, especially if living with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

2. Look the Part
The last thing you want to worry about during a workout is discomfort from your workout attire. Wear clothes that do not restrict movements or blood flow, along with wearing breathable material while you sweat. And when picking out shoes, select a pair that accommodates the type of activity you will be doing.

3. Hydrate
Hydration is important for good health, especially when you exercise. Since sweat is bound to happen during a workout, hydrating the body can lessen the risk of muscle cramps that likely occur with dehydration. So do not cramp your workout, here are four easy hacks to drink more water.

4. Warm Up
Before jumping into a workout, it is important to participate in some sort of warm-up. Do so with a light jog, bike ride, jumping jacks, or any other preferred exercise to elevate heart rate for at least five minutes. Additionally, stretching before exercising is discouraged, as it may increase the risk of pulling or straining a muscle.

5. Keep Moving
Throughout the workout, keep moving to sustain an elevated heart rate. As a general guideline, rationalize your exertion by the ease (or lack) of conversation. Cannot hold a conversation? You may be exercising too hard. Can chat someone's ear off? You may not be exercising hard enough...

6. Focus on Form
Despite the exercise completed, focus on good form rather than trying to quickly crank out repetitions. Even if workouts begin slow, maintaining good form can still lead to effective and apparent results. Rushing and jerking movements, especially when lifting weights, may cause serious injury.

7. Lift Properly
When it comes to the proper way to lift weights, you should be looking out eye level, while keeping both the face and shoulders relaxed, but chest facing up. Abs should be kept tight to support the lower back with the knees slightly bent to prevent locking. Also lift an appropriate weight amount, as the selected weight should make muscles feel tired or fatigued, for a general max of 15 reps. It is also important to target all muscle groups as well as embracing muscle balance, including working both the front and back of the shoulder.

8. Slowly Progress
Rome truly was not built in a day... So gradually progress and be patient with your results. Biting off more than you can chew may actually hinder progress, as injury is more likely to occur if trying to lift too heavy or sprint too quickly. The ability to add more weight and run quicker will naturally follow when remaining consistent with exercises.

9. Cool Down
An effective cool down regimen can reduce pain and stiffness following a workout. It is important to reduce an elevated heart rate with a light walk and stretching of muscles while they are "warm." During stretches, breathe deeply and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

10. REST!
No, resting does not mean resting on your health goals. Muscle groups should have at least a day or two of recovery to prevent injury. It is also extremely important to listen to your body so if feeling incredibly sore, take the day off!

Ready to get started? Find a 4-week beginner workout here!

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