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 Weight Control 
Infocenter

Holistic-online.com

Starting An Exercise Program

  • Start slowly.  
    Your body needs time to get used to your new activity.
  • Warm up.  
    Warm-ups get your body ready for action. Shrug your shoulders, tap your toes, swing your arms, or march in place. You should spend a few minutes warming up for any activity—even walking.
  • Cool down.  
    Slow down little by little. If you have been walking fast, walk slower to cool down. Or stretch for a few minutes. Cooling down may protect your heart, relax your muscles, and keep you from getting hurt.
  • Set goals.  
    Set short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal may be to walk 5 minutes at least 3 days for 1 week. A long-term goal may be to walk 30 minutes most days of the week by the end of 6 months.
  • Track progress.  
    Keep a journal of your activity. You may not feel like you are making progress but when you look back at where you started, you may be pleasantly surprised!
  • Fit activity into your daily life.  
    Plan ahead and try to be active when it works best for you.
  • Get support.  
    Get a family member or friend to be active with you. It may be more fun, and an exercise buddy can cheer you on.
  • Have fun!
    Try different activities to find the ones you really enjoy.

See your health care provider before  starting any exercise program.

You should see your doctor if:

—you have not been active for years

—you are active now and are changing from a moderate to a more intense activity

—you have diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure

—you have arthritis or an injury (like a knee injury).

Be more active

If you are physically active for 30 minutes at least three times a week,
strive for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. 

Moderate activities to try include:

• washing and waxing your car for 45-60 minutes

• bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes

• dancing fast for 30 minutes

•pushing a stroller 11/2 miles in 30 minutes.

More vigorous activities to try include:

• walking the stairs for 15 minutes

• running 11/2 miles in 15 minutes

• walking 2 miles in 30 minutes

• playing basketball (or another game) for 15–20 minutes

• jumping rope for 15 minutes.

Exercises for Weight Control and for Obesity

Walking

Dancing

Water Workouts

Weight Training

Bicycling

Stretching

Lifestyle Activities

Safety Tips

Drink plenty of water.

Water helps every cell and organ in your body work. It cushions your joints, improves your bowel patterns, and keeps your body cool.

  • Stop exercising right away if you:
    • have pain or pressure in the left-chest or mid-chest area—or left neck, shoulder, or arm
    • feel dizzy or sick
    • break out in a cold sweat
    • have muscle cramps
    • feel pain in your joints, feet, ankles, or legs. You could hurt yourself if you ignore the pain.
  • Slow down if out of breath. You should be able to talk while exercising without gasping for breath.
  • Drink lots of water before, during, and after exercise (even water workouts) to replace the water you lose by sweating.
  • Do not do hard exercise for 2 hours after a big meal (but a 5- to 10-minute walk is OK). If you eat small meals, you can exercise more often.
  • Wear the right clothes:
    • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting tops so you can move easily.
    • Women should wear a good support bra.
    • Wear supportive athletic shoes for weight-bearing activities.
    • Wear clothes made of fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
    • Never wear rubber or plastic suits. These could hold the sweat on your skin and make your body overheat.
    • Wear a knit hat to keep you warm when you exercise outdoors in cold weather. Wear a baseball cap in hot weather to help keep you cool.
    • Wear sunscreen when you exercise outdoors. Cover all areas of exposed skin whenever outdoors.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Next Topic: Walking (weight bearing)

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