Recommendations for Starting an Exercise Program

  • Consult your physician before beginning an exercise program if you have diagnosed condition or are over the age of 45.
  • Choose aerobic activities you enjoy such as brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, dancing or aerobics.
  • Build up time and frequency gradually from thirty to sixty minutes five times per week. Exercise is cumulative throughout the day. If you are new to exercise, three ten-minute sessions equate to thirty minutes of exercise.
  • Perform resistance training 2-3 times a week on non-consecutive days to allow 48 hours of rest between workouts so muscles can recover. Work all the major muscle groups.
  • Keep it up! Schedule regular exercise during the week. Find a friend to help keep you motivated, and/or join a gym.

Online Resources About Fitness

American Council on Exercise
The American Council on Exercise provides concise fact sheets on a variety of fitness-related topics. For example, the Pilates Primer describes a typical Pilates workout, and helps you choose a Pilates instructor. Review Core Exercises on the Ball for ideas on incorporating the versatile stability ball into your workout. Further, you may wish to design a strength-training program using the suggestions in Strength Training 101. The Resistance Band Workout is extremely effective for building both strength and endurance in only ten to twenty minutes a day. Your flexibility will improve with continued practice. Flexibility training exercises will help you fit stretching into a busy schedule. If you have trouble finding time to exercise, The Best Time to Exercise can help you choose a time of day when you can incorporate exercise into your routine. Finally, learn to combine all these elements together into a safe, effective exercise program for cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility and endurance.

Create a free account with FitDay to begin tracking the calories you burn during exercise each day. You can record your daily exercise on FitDay’s website from any computer with an Internet connection, or you may download the FitDay app for use on your mobile device.

MedlinePlus Exercise and Physical Fitness
The materials at MedlinePlus offer strategies for motivating yourself to make 30 minutes of daily activity a habit.

American Heart Association
The American Heart Association’s physical activity pages discuss the many benefits of long-term activity, as well as offer suggestions for incorporating variety into your exercise routine. (Exercise Prescription)
This free online resource for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts contains a comprehensive video library of over 1400 exercises. In addition, there is a wealth of reference material about both weight training and kinesiology.