Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

Starting a Fitness Regimen

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: How do you start a fitness regimen?
Air Date: 11/29/16
Duration: 13:31
Guest Bio: Barbara Ainsworth, MPH, PhD
Dr. Barb AinsworthBarbara E. Ainsworth is a Regents’ Professor in the Exercise Science and Health Promotion Program in School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University. Her research relates to physical activity and public health with focus on the assessment of physical activity in populations, the evaluation of physical activity questionnaires, and physical activity in women.

Dr. Ainsworth is best known as the lead author for the Compendium of Physical Activities, an exhaustive list of the energy cost of human physical activities. Dr. Ainsworth is a Past President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Academy of Kinesiology. She is a recipient of the ACSM Citation Award and the AAHPERD McKenzie Award. In 2015 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and has also has served on the President’s Council and the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport Scientific Committees.

She is a life-long advocate of active living and spends her free time maintaining her yard and animals in Arizona and hiking in the nearby hills.
It can be tough to get started on a fitness regimen. How should you begin for the best results?

If you like the environment or structured exercise classes, a gym is a great fit for you. However, you don’t have to join a gym to start getting fit. It’s helpful to be accustomed to lifestyle activity and formal fitness to get the most out of a gym membership.

If you’re brand new to fitness, the best way to start is with lifestyle activity. Park farther away from the store and walk three minutes to the store entrance. Get off at a different bus stop and walk to your destination. Take the stairs. Leave the couch and move around during television commercials. You can also start lifting heavy things to improve your strength. This will get you used to moving around before you embark on a formal exercise program.

You can get started with a good pair of walking or running shoes so you can intentionally be active. Get a firm sole that isn’t elevated. You can easily get started with a brisk walk.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of formal physical activity each week. This means it is performed 10-15 minutes at a time. You can have a meal and take a walk afterwards. Do this after breakfast and dinner every day and you’ll reach the target. The goal is to help the digestive system, kicking up the metabolism and getting the blood moving.

How do you stay motivated on your fitness regimen? Know yourself and how much you want to engage. Find something that works for you.

Here are some other motivation tips:

  • Find social support. You may not feel like working out, but you want to support your friend who needs to workout. You work out anyway to help your friend, getting your fitness done in the process.
  • Use fitness time as a way to escape the noise of daily life. It’s a great chance to take time for yourself without distractions.
  • Involve the dog. Dogs are creatures of habit. They will motivate you to take them on a walk
  • Exercise is medicine. You’ll have better health, balance, physical composition and mental health by pursuing some form of physical activity.

Listen in as Barbara Ainsworth, MPH, PhD, shares tips on starting your fitness regimen.
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