Start a Regular Exercise Program
Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise
Strength Training (Resistance) Exercise
Weight lifting, using:
- Free weights
- Weight machines
- Elastic tubing
- Calisthenics, such as push ups or chin ups
Flexibility (Stretching) Exercise
- Range of motion
- Back muscles
- Neck muscles
- Leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles
- Chest muscles
- Buttocks and hip muscles
- Shoulder and arm muscles
- Stomach muscles
- Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up your muscles before stretching. For example, walking gently while swinging your arms in wide circles.
- Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle.
- Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
- Do not bounce during a stretch.
- Do not stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
- If a stretch hurts, ease up. Do not strain or push a muscle too far.
- Do not hold your breath while stretching.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
Weight-control Information Network http://win.niddk.nih.gov
Canada Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org
Public Safety Canada http://www.safecanada.ca
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Dec 15;74(12):2095-2096. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061215/2095ph.html. Accessed February 17, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/17/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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