If one has not exercised for a long period of time it is recommended to ease back into an exercise program. If you restart from the place that you left off it will increase the chance of injury. You also might also be terribly sore for several days. It is wise to start easy and slowly increase the intensity of your workout.
For those who want to get back to exercise it is recommended to start with a fitness assessment. This is especially true for those over 40. As we get older there is a greater chance of there being medical issues that need to be addressed. There is also a chance that a medication might be used that can have an effect on the person’s ability to exercise. Therefore, if there have been injuries or significant health changes, a fitness assessment by a certified personal trainer is advised.
For those of you who have not done any exercise, walking is a good start. You should have a goal of building it up to at least 30 to 60 minutes almost daily. You can do it all at once or break it up in small amounts done throughout the day. Pay attention to your heart rate, breathing and muscle fatigue. Slowly increase speed to a jog and then a run or alternate between walking and jogging.
The other components of a good fitness plan are strength training and stretching. Strength training increases muscle mass. It can be performed with weights, bands, machines, or your own body weight. As we age sarcopenia, which is a change in the fat muscle ratio, becomes an issue. Strength training is important because it can increase your muscle mass and decrease fat.
Stretching should also be performed. Work with a fitness professional to get the best exercises for someone restarting his or her fitness program. This way you will learn which exercise to do and not do for your particular situation.
Carol Michaels Personal Trainer
2016 IDEA Fitness Personal Trainer of the Year