It’s no secret that exercise is good for you. In fact, it’s one of the best things that you can do for your health! However, many people don’t know where to start when it comes to getting in shape. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 13 evidence-based exercise tips from a sports medicine doctor to help get you started on your journey to a healthier you!
1. Start gradually, but be consistent
It’s never too late to start exercising. In fact, research shows that starting to exercise later in life can still have significant health benefits. Even if you’ve been inactive for years, you can still see improvements in your strength, endurance, and overall health by starting slowly and being consistent with your workout routine. And there’s no need to go overboard – just a moderate amount of exercise (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) is enough to make a difference. So if you’re looking to get started on a fitness journey, remember to take things slowly at first – but most importantly, be consistent!
2. Work towards and exercise goal
A lot of people think that in order to start exercising, they need to have a specific goal in mind. They worry that they won’t be motivated enough to stick with it unless they’re training for a race or trying to lose a certain amount of weight. But this isn’t necessarily true! It’s important to have some sort of goal in mind, but it doesn’t have to be anything too specific. Just something that will motivate you to keep going. For some people, it might be completing a certain number of miles per week. For others, it might be simply working out for a certain number of days each week. And don’t worry if you don’t meet your goal every single week. Just try your best and keep at it!
3. Invest in proper fitting equipment
Whether you’re just starting to get into shape or you’re a seasoned athlete, it’s important to have the right equipment. Not only will this help you to perform your best, but it can also prevent injuries. When it comes to exercise, one of the most important things is to invest in proper fitting equipment. This means making sure that your shoes fit well and provide adequate support, and that your clothing is comfortable and doesn’t restrict your movement. In addition, it’s important to choose equipment that is appropriate for your level of fitness. If you’re just starting out, there’s no need to invest in top-of-the-line gear. However, as you become more fit, you may want to consider upgrading to better quality equipment. Remember, the right gear can make all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of your workout.
4. Participate in group exercise programs or work with a personal trainer
When it comes to getting in shape, there are all sorts of different approaches that you can take. Some people prefer to go it alone, while others find that they get better results when they participate in group exercise programs or work with a personal trainer. So which is the right approach for you? Ultimately, it depends on your own individual goals and preferences. If you’re the type of person who thrives on motivation and enjoys the social aspects of working out with others, then a group program or personal trainer may be a great fit for you. On the other hand, if you prefer to have more control over your workout routine and prefer to exercise independently, then going solo may be the way to go. There’s no right or wrong answer – it all comes down to what works best for you. So if you’re trying to figure out which approach is right for you, why not give both a try and see which one you like best?
5. Make a goal – having something to work towards will help you stay motivated
When it comes to exercise, making a goal is crucial to staying motivated. For starters, having a goal gives you something to work towards. This can help you stay focused and on track, even on days when you don’t feel like working out. Additionally, reaching a goal can be a major source of motivation in itself. Seeing the progress you’ve made and knowing that you’re capable of reaching your goals can give you the boost you need to keep going. So if you’re struggling to stay motivated, try setting a goal for yourself. Whether it’s running a certain distance, lifting a certain amount of weight, or simply working out for a certain number of days each week, having a goal to strive for can make all the difference.
6. Vary your workouts so you don’t get bored and give up
It’s no secret that sticking to a workout routine can be tough. There are days when you just don’t feel like it, and it’s tempting to skip the gym and curl up on the couch instead. However, research has shown that one of the best ways to stay motivated is to vary your workouts so you don’t get bored. If you’re stuck in a rut, try mixing things up with a new activity or class. Not only will this help to keep you from getting bored, but it will also give you a chance to challenge your body in new ways and see results. So next time you’re feeling sluggish, don’t give up on your fitness goals – mix things up and have some fun instead.
7. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout
Drinking plenty of water is essential for any workout, but it’s especially important if you’re going to be sweating it out in the hot sun. Before you start your exercise routine, make sure to drink at least eight ounces of water. During your workout, drink water at regular intervals to stay hydrated. And after you’re done, drink even more water to replenish the fluids you lost during your workout. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that you stay properly hydrated before, during, and after your workout.
8. Find an activity that you enjoy, so you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run
The best way to make exercise a part of your life is to find an activity that you enjoy. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run. There are so many different kinds of exercise out there, so there’s bound to be something that appeals to you. Maybe you like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running a race, or the satisfaction of learning a new yoga pose. Maybe you just enjoy getting out in nature and taking a long hike. Whatever it is, find your niche and stick with it. Exercise should be something that makes you happy, not something that feels like a chore. When you find an activity that you enjoy, you’ll look forward to working out instead of dreading it. So get out there and explore until you find your perfect fit!
9. Start your day with a healthy breakfast to give you energy for your workout
When it comes to your morning workout routine, starting your day with a healthy breakfast can help you feel more energized and motivated. A nutritious meal helps to jumpstart your metabolism and provides the sustenance you need to power through your workout. Additionally, eating breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive function and reaction time. So if you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your morning workout, make sure to start your day with a healthy breakfast. It’ll help you feel energized and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you.
10. Modify exercises as needed to make them more challenging or easier
It’s important to remember that not every exercise is going to be perfect for every person. While some exercises might be too difficult for certain people, others might find them too easy. That’s why it’s important to modify exercises as needed to make them more challenging or easier. If an exercise is too difficult, try modifying it by using lighter weights or fewer repetitions. If an exercise is too easy, try increasing the weight or adding more repetitions. By making these simple adjustments, you can ensure that each exercise is just right for your fitness level.
11. Warm-up and cool down properly to avoid injuries
No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, it’s important to warm up and cool down properly. Warming up gradually raises your heart rate and prepares your muscles for physical activity. Cooling down gives your body a chance to adjust back to resting state. Skipping either the warm-up or cool-down can lead to injuries. For the warm-up, start with some light cardio and then do some dynamic stretches. Examples of dynamic stretches include arm circles, leg swings, and butt kickers. For the cool-down, do some light cardio followed by static stretches. Static stretches are those where you hold the position for 20-30 seconds. To avoid injury, be sure to listen to your body and modify the intensity or duration of your workout as needed.
12. Don’t get discouraged
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re trying to establish a new exercise routine. You might miss a few days, or you might not see the results you were hoping for. But it’s important to remember that every little bit counts. Even if you can only fit in a few minutes of exercise, it’s better than nothing. And as long as you keep at it, you’ll eventually start seeing results. So don’t give up – every step you take is bringing you closer to your goal.
13. Exercise throughout the day
No time to go to the gym? Studies have shown that even the smallest amounts of exercise can improve your health. To raise your heart rate during your lunch break, use the stairs, park your car further away from your office building or the stores, or go for a walk around the building.
Summary of these 13 evidence-based exercise tips
The 13 exercise tips listed above provide a foundation for healthy living. By following these tips, individuals can establish a routine that is fun and sustainable. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast is a great way to get energized for a morning workout, and modifying exercises as needed can make them more challenging or easier. Warming up and cooling down properly can help avoid injuries, and it’s important not to get discouraged when trying to establish a new exercise routine. Every step counts!
Thanks for reading! I hope these tips help you on your journey to a healthier you!
- Kalra S, Mandlekar A, Kapoor N. Exercise therapy for the exercise naïve: The first step in obesity management. J Pak Med Assoc. 2021 Dec;71(12):2828-2830. PMID: 35150550.
- Vincent KR, Vincent HK. Seven Tips to Effective Running Shoe Sizing. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2019 Nov;18(11):379. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000645. PMID: 31702717.
- Horgan G. Healthier lifestyles series: 1. Exercise for children. J Fam Health Care. 2005;15(1):15-7. PMID: 15819361.
- Bales J, Bales K, Deakon R, Johnson D. The triathlon tips from the top: practical tips for racing and training for a triathlon. Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2012 Dec;20(4):237-8. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e318271c4fb. PMID: 23147097.