Exercise is vital to improving vascular health, among other health benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced risk of obesity, and more. Exercise also helps us feel better, improves our moods, and lowers stress. The benefits are clear, but exercise may not always be fun, and some people tend to avoid it.
So how do you start an exercise regimen, especially when you don’t like working out? Follow our tips to get started and on your way to improved health.
Speak with your doctor
If you have any medical conditions, then it’s crucial to speak with your doctor first about a new exercise plan. Your physician may want you to stay away from certain exercises that could cause you pain or exacerbate an injury. Your doctor may also have suggestions about daily exercises you can do at home or classes you may enjoy in the community. Never start a new regime without your physician’s approval.
Don’t forget – you can send your doctor a message or call to speak with him or her instead of an office visit to discuss working out.
Find a time that works
Some of us are morning people, and some of us are not. That’s OK! If you’re not a morning person, then don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to get up and go for a run at 5am. If you know that you hit the snooze button numerous times, then consider working out at lunch (if your job permits), after work, or even after dinner. Many gyms have late hours for those who prefer a nighttime workout. Find a realistic time that you can dedicate to exercise, as well as the specific days that work with your schedule.
Figure out exercises
Your doctor may recommend walking for thirty minutes per day or even more cardio, depending on your health. After speaking with him or her about which type of exercise is best for you individually, find out which exercises you can do. This may be a class in a gym, classes online, or just researching and exercising on your own. Figure out which movements will give health benefits but also that you don’t absolutely hate doing. If you really don’t like the type of workout you are trying to do, you’ll be less likely to do it.
Create a realistic plan
It’s easy to get excited about a new workout routine and aim high – say, trying to go to the gym every day. For most, that is unrealistic with work and family life getting in the way. Creating a more realistic, doable plan will make sure you stay on track. Try aiming for more intense workouts three or four days per week (going to the gym for an hour, a work out class, exercise video, etc.). On the other days, try other ways of working out, such as taking the stairs at work, parking far away from the office, so you walk more, or even taking your dog for a longer walk at night. By keeping the plan accomplishable, you can feel good when you complete goals each week.
Hold yourself accountable
Lastly, try to hold yourself accountable when starting a new workout plan. There are different ways to do this. If you complete your workout goals, you could treat yourself to a movie or dinner out on the weekends. Alternatively, some people find it helpful to start a workout plan with a friend to help them stay on track. Whatever works for you, it’s just important to stick with it.
Getting into a workout routine can take time, but it’s important for your overall health. For more information on how exercise improves the vascular system, specifically how it helps with peripheral artery disease, read our blog.