Benefits of Regular Exercise and Tips for Getting Started

Benefits of Regular Exercise and Tips for Getting Started

June 4, 2024

Exercising is one of the most important ways that people can maintain and improve their health. Being physically active helps improve sleep, brain health, quality of life, and mental wellness. It also helps to reduce the risk of diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes. Regular exercise also helps to manage weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve peoples’ abilities to perform everyday activities. Overall, regular exercise has been shown to increase one’s chances of living longer. 

While it can be difficult to start or stay consistent with an exercise routine, considering all the benefits of exercise can be a good motivator to start getting on track with physical activity. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, each week adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (anything that makes your heart beat faster than usual) and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity (anything that makes your muscles work harder than usual). Of course, doing more than that will reap even greater health benefits, but this baseline recommendation can be a good place to start. 

If this sounds daunting for any reason (i.e. busy work schedule, feeling too out of shape to get started, not knowing what exercises to do, etc), consider these tips for getting going:

  • You can break the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity up into whatever time portions work for you. Ex: 30 minutes a day, 5 days per week of brisk walking. 

  • Ensure you are covering all of the major body regions on the days you are doing strengthening exercises (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms). You do not need to cover all of these in one day, just make sure they are all being included in your rotation of strengthening exercises. 

  • If you don’t feel you can do this much to start, it’s ok to start smaller! You will be surprised at how quickly your body will be able to handle more physical activity when you are consistent. 

  • Build exercise into your actual weekly schedule. Many people squeeze in exercise “when they have the time.” If you wait until you have a random empty block of time in your day with nothing else to do, you likely won’t be getting much exercise! If you block off specific days and times to do each type of physical activity, you are more likely to do it. Set reminders or alarms on your phone at first if needed!

  • Ask a friend who is of similar fitness level to join you on the journey. Whether you exercise together at the same time or check in with each other about progress, this can help improve accountability to stay consistent. 

  • Listen to your body. Fatigue and muscle soreness are normal responses to exercising. Pain, lightheadedness, dizziness, and other unusual symptoms are not normal and need to be assessed by a healthcare provider before continuing exercise. 

If you have pain or other physical limitations that are keeping you from exercising, or you are unsure what exercises are safe to do, physical therapists can help with that! We can perform interventions to address your pain, teach you safe exercises (along with modifications if necessary), and ways to progress the activities as your pain improves and you start getting stronger. 

In addition to traditional physical therapy services, Elite Muscle Recovery offers a Beginners Workout Class that can be done online from the comfort of your own home. We also offer in-person small Group Fitness classes led by a doctor of physical therapy that can be a great way to stay accountable to your own fitness journey! 

If you need help in any of these areas, please reach out to us. You can call or text us at (423) 228-8120 if you have questions or are interested in using our services. We would love to work with you!