Starting an exercise programme

Starting an exercise programme can sound like a daunting task, but just remember that your main goal is to boost your health by meeting the basic physical activity recommendations: A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (for example: 30 minutes per day, five days a week) and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week (2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans).

Moderate physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. Examples: brisk walking, ballroom dancing, general gardening or house work.

Read these Guidelines for healthy adults under age 65 with no apparent chronic disease.

STEP 1 – Set aside time each day to exercise. Getting started with an exercise programme can often be the most difficult part of any such routine. Scheduling exercise into your day and making it a priority will increase the chance of being successful.

STEP 2 – Choose cardiovascular activities you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or playing soccer with friends to get your daily physical activity. If you need a variety of activities to stay motivated, combine a few that appeal to you. Physical activity can be accumulated through a variety of activities, not just running. Walking is a great way to do moderate-intensity physical activity. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.

STEP 3 – Start your routine with 10 to 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. Each week, add five minutes to your exercise programme until you reach 30 minutes of moderate intensity for a minimum of five days per week. Alternately, you may do 20 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary.

STEP 4 – Incorporate strength training into your routine. Do eight to 10 strength training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week. This can be accomplished by using dumbbells, resistance bands or your own body weight. If you are unsure how to perform the exercises correctly please come and see us.


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Comments (2)

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    Great advice and very do-able. Having slackened off on my own exercise habits (practically zero post-children!) this has made me decide that there really is no excuse to start a regular exercise program 🙂

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      Thanks Bronwen. Starting is the trick, so make a decision and book the time.

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