If you’re new to exercise, you don’t have to kill yourself to burn calories. In fact, the most important factor in choosing an exercise program is that you pick one that’s fun. If you won’t enjoy it, you won’t continue it. You’d be surprised to learn how many activities you already do are good choices for exercise.
You have many exercise options—you can turn many leisure activities into exercise by picking up the pace and doing them a while longer. For example, the difference between a leisurely walk and a weight-loss walk is simply picking up the speed a bit.
Good exercise options for beginners include:
•Jogging in Place
•TV Exercise Programs
Don’t worry about getting your heart rate high the first two weeks you exercise. Your goal is to build cardio stamina and muscular endurance so you can move from 15- to 20- to 30-minute workouts. If you try to reach a high aerobic heart rate, you might tucker out after five or 10 minutes. A moderate-intensity workout, like brisk walking or bike riding, will help you build your cardio stamina while you burn calories.
As you build stamina and endurance your first two weeks, you’ll also build cardio strength, or your ability to exercise at a higher level. Once you can exercise non-stop for 30 minutes, then it’s time to start raising your heart rate. Talk while you’re exercising—if you can’t, you’re exercising too hard and will soon have to stop.
No matter how you workout, or if you choose two or three activities for exercise, every workout you do should follow the same format: warmup, exercise, cooldown and stretch.
Skipping your warmup or your stretch will decrease the benefits you get from exercise. Read our Basic Workout Format article to learn how to easily warm up, cool down and stretch—correctly. You’ll be surprise to learn that two very common stretching techniques are actually detrimental.