Physical Activity Guidelines – Getting Started

Physical Activity Guidelines – Getting Started


If you’re thinking about adding physical activity to
your life sometimes getting started is the hardest part. It seems everyone can come up with an
excuse not to be active. (woman)
Shoot, I own my own business. At the end of a
long day my feet hurt, and I am just too tired to work out. (man)
I’ve got all this practicing to do and I ain’t got time. (woman 2)
I think I’ll start my exercise after the holidays. (man 2)
Who has time when you have kids? I’m Dave Patania, and I say, no excuses!
There are too many ways and too many opportunities for you to spend time each week on physical
activities that can improve your health. You can do them indoors or out, at home or at the gym. Pick activities that you enjoy, and break them up
to fit your particular schedule. Listen to these folks who, like you, at one time
probably had a fistful of excuses. (man 3)
About 10 months ago, my wife had a baby, and it
was our second child, and I realized that I was 320-some-odd pounds, and I had become
very much out of shape, and my knees hurt, my feet hurt, my whole body really hurt. And so I
decided that if I was going to be there for them and help those two boys grow into, you know,healthy,
well-adjusted young men, that I needed to be in shape, myself. I started slowly with my physical activity routine,
and I walked for 45 minutes a time, three days a week. And gradually, over time, I’ve increased that to 60 minutes
and also added some free weights to what I did about 30 minutes, three sessions a week.
And–a light routine, but, nonetheless, consistent. My advice to another person who is getting started would be,
just put one foot in front of the other and do what you can do. Walking, I think, is the most natural thing you can do.
It’s something that, you know many of us can do, and it doesn’t require any equipment. And it’s what your body
was created to do. It’s the most natural thing to do. (woman 3)
Before I started skating, I was in the weakest
physical condition of my life. And I knew I needed to be healthier, but traditional exercise just didn’t interest me.
And I was encouraged to take up a sport where I got joy. I always wanted to skate, but I didn’t think I could do it.
I would skate once or twice a year, and I’d get too tired. But the thing is, you need practice.
And each week, I got stronger and stronger. At first, I just focused on the skating here,
and I knew that on my off days from the rink, I needed strength training, so I added that in at home. Because I didn’t have the money or the time
for a gym membership. After about a year of skating, I added in a dog
into my life and we walk every day. And that has helped my cardiovascular
strength, and we have so much fun together. There are recreational leagues in like, every
sport, especially in metro areas. Go online and find something that you love, and take
lessons. There’s something out there for everyone. (man 2)
I was in an automobile accident, I broke my neck, and was
in ICU for about five weeks and lost more than 70 pounds. So I was 6’3″, a little over 110 pounds–nothing but skin
and bone. So I just started trying to rebuild muscle with just a little weight work outs everyday and then just
slowly started building with the number of
weight exercises I would do, and trying to do–trying to work my abdominals somehow by holding my legs
and pulling myself up to do a sit-up, and slowly moved into more cardiovascular workouts by, you know, just going on
chair rides, pushing the chair for whatever distance. And as soon as I got the hand cycle,
it was pretty easy to make a daily commitment to that. I just really enjoy cycling itself, and I’m motivated,
like all humans–it’s a human trait to want do better, and be better and live as healthy a life as possible. (woman 4)
It’s hard when you have a a lot of kids, to do exercise.
I was diagnosed for high blood pressure two years ago. Then I started walking 20 minutes a day. After that,
I gradually started walking an hour, with me and my grandkids. Then I started doing it six times a week. I recently
added weight and strength training to my routine. I like walking. It made me lose weight and keep
my weight under control. Also, when I was walking, that would clear my mind,
and then I’d feel better about myself. (woman 5)
I was literally a slug. The hardest thing in
the world was to take that first step. At 47 years old, I hadn’t done anything, so I
I started slowly and just small steps–walking in the neighborhood. I couldn’t even
make it to the end of my community. And now I’m to the point where I really enjoy it,
I look forward to it. Two, three times a week. Just start walking. Anybody can do it. You don’t need
a gym. You can do this at home, you can do it anywhere. Exercise doesn’t have to be a bad word. Now, not only has
my energy increased, but my family is really a family. We do this together, and it’s wonderful. (Patania)
Just find an activity you like to do and get started.
Believe me, the hardest step is the first one. Many people find that doing activities with their family,
friends, or co-workers helps them to get started. Try joining a regular walking group at work, signing
up for a team sport, or going to the gym with a friend. Having a support network can help you stick
with your program. I’ve also found that keeping a personal log
or journal of your activities is an excellent way to stay committed to being physically active.
Write your goals down, mark your activities on a calendar, and, keep track of your progress. Okay, before we go any further, let’s take
a minute to review the guidelines. They say that, for substantial health benefits
the guidelines recommend that most adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity
aerobic activity, such as brisk walking; or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging;
or an equivalent mix of both moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. In addition to aerobic activities,
adult Americans should include at least two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities. You can get even more
health benefits by working your way up to 200 minutes to 300 minutes or more of moderate-intensity
aerobic activity each week. But if you haven’t been active in a while,
start out by doing what you can. Once you feel comfortable, slowly add more
time and days. Many people’s big mistake is to do too much, too fast.
Remember, this is not a race. Walking is a great way to add physical activity to your life. Start with
a ten-minute brisk walk twice a day, and if you feel like you can do more, try two 15-minute walks a day. Before you know it, you can be up to 30 minutes a day,
five days a week, and that’s one way to meet the 150 minute total recommendation for
moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Now just put in your two days of muscle-strengthening
activities that work all seven major muscle groups, and you’re meeting all the minimum guidelines. After a couple of months, if you feel ready, instead of doing
moderate-level activities like brisk walking, replace them with more vigorous types of aerobic activity, like jogging.
Do what works best for you, but always start with moderate-intensity activities and then add ones
that require more vigorous effort little by little. The important thing is to find activities you like
to do so that you’ll stick with them. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part
of meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines. But all it takes is just a little desire
and commitment to take that first step. I’m Dave Patania. Please look at our series of videos
that can help you get active, healthy, and happy.

2 comments on “Physical Activity Guidelines – Getting Started

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