Exercise is a great way to improve quality of life and reduce your risk of developing potentially life threatening health conditions and diseases. But men and women are often intimidated when attempting to incorporate exercise into their lives after a long layoff from working out.
Tailoring a workout that suits you can be a daunting task, especially if it's been years since you visited a gym or took a turn on a treadmill. But creating a workout routine that's right for you should be an exciting experience that marks your first step toward living a healthier, more active lifestyle.
Assessing your current situation
The process of creating a workout regimen should begin with an honest self-assessment of your current fitness levels. If exercise has not been a part of your regular routine in quite some time, chances are you have little to no idea of how fit you are. You might be in better shape than you think, or you might have more work to do in the months and years ahead than you initially thought.
To get an idea of your current fitness level, measure your pulse after walking one mile and the time it takes you to walk that mile. If your heart is racing after such a brief and stress-free exercise and it took you awhile to walk a mile, then you'll begin to get an idea of the task that's ahead of you. To gauge your muscular fitness, perform a simple task like pushups to see how many you can do at one time. The more you're capable of doing, the more fit your muscles are.
Don't push it when gauging aerobic or muscular fitness, as this initial stage is intended solely to give you a realistic idea of where you are with regard to personal fitness. In addition, it's important not to overreact during the assessment stage, as you likely know already that you have work to do. You have already taken the most difficult step, and that's deciding to make a change. Once you honestly assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, you will have a much better idea of your fitness levels.