Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baby Steps!

Everything has its first time! Especially so, for many of us who are considering beginning an exercise routine – voluntarily or forcibly after planning and postponing for ages!

Studies on the percentages of adherence to a fitness routine show some interesting facts. Adherence or regularity with respect to a fitness routine depends on factors like motivation, fear factor, apparent benefits, as well as some basic factors like intensity, duration and frequency.
Another point I would like to include would be ‘expectations’ especially those arising out of a sense of competition or instant results and the like. Many people start out with a bang and then lose steam as the days go by, mainly because of un-realistic standards of progress.

Hence it is important to understand that its important to take baby steps – small, achievable and measurable goals while beginning an exercise routine, instead of going full steam ahead and then losing interest or ability to maintain regularity.

Let’s discuss a few answers to the reason behind failure to be regular at an exercise routine –

Pre - Preparation – This is important, both physically and mentally for those who have never exercised before and are planning to begin in the near future. While those with no medical conditions requiring a supervised exercise routine, it is helpful to start out with basic activities like walking around to finish household errands, taking the stairs instead of elevators etc. for a few weeks before hitting the gym. This helps to get the body conditioned for the following exercise routine.
Mentally, it is helpful to maintain a ‘can-do’ and realistic attitude instead of setting very high goals like losing two or three kilos in the first week itself, or exercising for two hours right from the first day! Sporadic bursts of intense activities are not at all beneficial. In the first few weeks, regularity is the most essential component rather than the duration, performance or intensity. Around 30-45 minutes of activity in the first week is acceptable including the warm-up and cool down exercises and stretches. The routine must include cardio exercises and full-body conditioning exercises with weights.

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