A Beginner's Guide to Exercise

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Whether you’re just getting started, or have been forced to switch up your normal fitness routine during the COVID-19 pandemic, this map will help you target four important types of exercise:

Endurance

Your goal: Increase your breathing and heart rate with aerobic activity.

  • Treadmills: Try walking briskly on a comfortable incline or lightly jogging.
  • Stationary bikes: Pedal while maintaining a steady but increased heart rate.

Balance

Your goal: Improve your balance to prevent falls, which is a common risk for older adults.

  • Mats: Practice standing on one foot, then the other. Or try holding a side plank for 15 seconds on each side.

Flexibility

Your goal: Stretch your muscles to give you more freedom of movement.

  • Mats: Take time to focus on stretching all areas of your body.
  • Yoga poses: Practicing a few basic poses can help stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion.

Strength

Your goal: Make your muscles stronger by lifting weights.

  • Free weights: Start with two light weights as you practice bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep extensions.
  • Mats: Try working against your own body weight with lunges or squats. You may also use a stability ball, which can help with core exercises.

“The most comment sports injuries we see tend to involve the knees and shoulders,” says local orthopedic surgeon, Kenneth Edwards, MD. “There are some really common-sense approaches to injury prevention that very often the recreational athlete will ignore. One is spending enough time on flexibility and the other is building up a level of endurance and not over doing it.”

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