Good Exercise Habits

Start Slow – The biggest mistake that people make when starting an exercise plan is starting too fast or too hard. You can get burned out fast or get injured. That will be a huge setback. The key is to make it enjoyable. When I started running, I ran between 1 and 2 miles a day. It seemed very manageable back then. I felt really good after each run. The gauge of whether you are doing it right is to see if you feel good after each exercise and if you want to do it again the next day. When I started running, I could wait until the next day to do another run.

Gradual Buildup – After getting used to a certain level of exercise, you’ll want to challenge your body so it burns energy more efficiently. If you stick to running two miles or walking 20 minutes three times a week for a year, you may not make progress as fast as you wish. Your body can quickly adjust to the increased stress you’re giving it. For running, you can increase your total weekly mileage by 5%.

Interval Training – Once you’ve gotten used to exercise, you’ll want to do some higher intensity workouts for better fitness and fat-burning. For example, instead of running slowly and steadily, for a long time, try doing shorter bursts of fast running, with periods of rest in between. You can do this for biking or other exercises. Higher intensity increases the calorie burn, and improves performance. Studies have shown that after interval training, the body burns calories at a higher level for a longer period.

Sign up a 5K Race – Nothing gets you more motivated than having a goal like a 5K race. You don’t have worry about finishing the last. There will be a lot of walkers who walk the whole distance and it is very casual. The idea is to get inspired to see people of all shapes are trying to stay active. You will get more motivated after the race and want to sign up another.

Get the Endorphin High – If you are having fun and feeling good while exercising, you will lose weight before you even know about it. When I started running, my goal wasn’t to lose weight. Because running made me feel so good, I wanted to do it everyday. Before long, my pants felt loose.

Prevent Injury – When you run or walk with those extra pounds, your bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments have to stand the extra stress. It is not hard to end up with a stress fracture if you are not careful. If you are into running or walking, read about injury prevention and follow time-tested advice. Biking is a very low-impact exercise.

Schedule Workouts – Make appointments with yourself to workout, at a specific time and place, just as you would with

Rest – It’s important. This is a commonly overlooked factor. If you don’t give your body some rest, you will burn out and feel exhausted. Your body will shut down and you won’t feel like having fun anymore. That can derail your plan. Rest is just as important as the workouts in improving performance and fitness. As long as you’re doing the workouts too and not just the rest!