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A Day to Get Back in the Exercise Game

By Sara Butler

Leap Forward

It’s a leap year, leap month, and almost leap day! That’s a lot of leaps. And with the new year more than a few weeks old, you may have more skips than leaps in your recent past -- as in skipping your workout as you settled back into your old sedentary ways.

Regular exercise is one of the best choices you can make for your health and wellness. In fact, you can start to see and feel benefits almost immediately from getting regular movement in your day. But as most people know, starting and sticking to a new exercise regimen can be difficult.

Here are a few tips to help you get started and use this leap day as the jumping-off point for a whole new you. Or, at least, a healthier you.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do before starting a new exercise program is to make sure you’re healthy enough for it, especially if you’re not used to more strenuous physical activity and you’re over the age of 45.

Regular checkups with a trusted healthcare provider can help uncover any health issues or conditions that may put you at a higher risk for injury during exercise. But speaking with a healthcare provider, such as the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic, can help you to understand what type of workout may be best for you and optimize your workout plan going forward. You can come up with a realistic plan to meet your needs once you understand your limitations.

Be Realistic

Speaking of being realistic, your success in sticking with a new fitness plan is dependent upon how well you plan and how realistic your goals are. You must have steps in your plan that are attainable, otherwise you may burn out and stop before you really get started.

Start with a small goal, such as walking for 20 minutes after dinner or at lunch a few days per week. Then slowly increase time and frequency until you build up to your larger goal of walking for 30 minutes each day. Tackling your workout plan this way increases your chance for success and helps you to stay motivated.

Make It Habit Forming

Another vital step to an effective workout plan is to have a routine. But coming up with a routine isn’t all you need to do; you also need to stick to it. How is that accomplished? By making it a habit.

Schedule your workouts and try to make them at about the same time each day. This creates a habit that increases your chance of workout success.

Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

When you get gung-ho about getting healthy with the help of exercise, you can start off way too strong. This increases your risk of injury and can simply lead to burnout. Don’t take on too much at once. Instead, make one change at a time. If you can modify your behavior in small ways over time, you’ll have a much easier time making those changes last.

February 29 only happens every four years. If you start planning for a new exercise routine today, think about where you can be the next time leap day comes around. You could be a whole new, healthier you. What are you waiting for?

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