5 Ways to Start a Workout Programby Kay Dean
Whether it is the coming swimsuit season, a class reunion or the birth of a baby, there are times when everyone decides it's time to start a workout program. However, there must be more to it than merely deciding that you want to buy a new bathing suit; for it to last more than this year, you have to approach a workout as a decision for a healthier you. Check with your doctor to make sure you are ready and then consider five ways to start a workout program.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to work out. As far as equipment, all you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Look for ways to add walking to your daily routine. If you live near your child's school, walk with her to and from school each day. Whenever you have a choice, skip the elevator and take the stairs. When you go shopping, park at the furthest end of the parking lot and walk to the store.
Dancing is great aerobic exercise. You don't have to be good; the idea is to move. If you feel silly dancing, put on high-energy music and add bounce while you are cleaning. Babies love the movement of dancing; grab your little one, and spend some quality time with him while burning calories.
Mowing. Raking. Weeding. Vegetable gardens, flower beds and lawns require consistent work to keep them healthy, giving you plenty of workout time. With warmer weather coming, grab a hat and your gardening gloves, plug in an iPod and burn some calories. Make sure you wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. A harvest of delicious vegetables and a beautiful yard are added benefits.
Looking for a way to exercise and interact with your children? Combine both; go outside and play with them. Buy a badminton set, hula hoops, a Frisbee and even jump ropes. You don't have to be skilled at any of these games; the idea is staying active and having fun.
While aerobic exercise is important for your heart, don't forget weight training. You don't have to buy a full set of weights to build strength; wear a set of ankle weights while walking or use a set of dumb bells while you watch television. You can lift the larger size cans of vegetables in place of dumb bells; just be careful to have a good grip on them.