Health Tip: Begin an Exercise Program

Start slowly, and you're more likely to stick with it

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(HealthDay News) -- Most couch potatoes know how important it is to exercise. But getting started may be no walk in the park.

The American Heart Association offers these suggestions for exercise newbies or wannabees:

  • Wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes and clothing that are appropriate for working out.
  • Start slowly and build up your workout time. Eventually, you should reach 30 minutes of exercise on most (if not all) days of the week.
  • Pick an exercise schedule that works for you, and stick with it so it becomes routine. If more enjoyable, engage in two 15-minute sessions a day instead of one 30-minute session.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated, drinking water before, after, and maybe even during workouts. See what your doctor recommends.
  • Get a group of friends or family members who are willing to work out with you. This will make your workouts more fun and motivate you to continue.
  • Add variety to your workouts. Alternate between walking, biking, swimming, running or any other activities you enjoy.
  • If you miss workouts, don't give up. No matter how long it's been since you've exercised, it's never too late to start over and work your way gradually back to where you were.

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