Spring is a great time for getting back into exercising. It’s finally warm…ish, outside, and the sun is shining at least part of the time. Before getting started, however, take a minute to plan your exercise strategy. Here are a few precautions:
- Take it slow. Do less than you think you can for the first few days. If you don’t wind up with aches and pains, it’s ok to push a little harder. If you do get a small injury, starting off with a light workout could prevent damage that might set you back by weeks or even months.
- Pick an activity you enjoy. You may be able to force yourself to do something you dislike for a few days or even weeks. However, in the long run, you’re more likely to quit than you are to stick to it. If you try something new and don’t like it, don’t be afraid to switch to something different. Once you’ve found something that feels good and is fun, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to stick with your new routine.
- Find an exercise partner. Getting back into shape is a lot harder than maintaining fitness that you’ve already earned. It helps to have someone else to motivate you and keep you company.
- Get the right shoes. Skimping on footwear can lead to injuries that cost a lot more than the price of good shoes that are appropriate to your activity.
- If you’re really out of shape, or if you have a chronic health condition, check with your healthcare provider before hitting the road, the trail or the court. Again, the point is to improve your fitness level, not do something that creates more health problems.