Start a Regular Exercise Program
Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise
Strength Training (Resistance) Exercise
Weight lifting, using:
- Free weights
- Weight machines
- Elastic tubing
- Calisthenics, such as push ups or chin ups
Flexibility (Stretching) Exercise
- Range of motion
- Back muscles
- Neck muscles
- Leg muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles
- Chest muscles
- Buttocks and hip muscles
- Shoulder and arm muscles
- Stomach muscles
- Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up your muscles before stretching. For example, walking gently while swinging your arms in wide circles.
- Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle.
- Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
- Do not bounce during a stretch.
- Do not stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
- If a stretch hurts, ease up. Do not strain or push a muscle too far.
- Do not hold your breath while stretching.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org/
Weight-control Information Network http://win.niddk.nih.gov/index.htm
Canada's Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org/
Recreational Safety Government of Canada http://www.safecanada.ca/topic%5Fe.asp?category=7
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. United States Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed May 21, 2012.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.sportsmed.org . Accessed May 21, 2012..
Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20061215/2095ph.html . Published December 2006. Accessed May 21, 2012.
Health and fitness tips. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/healthandfitnesstips/default.aspx . Accessed May 21, 2012.
Mayo Clinic. Stretching: focus on flexibility. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stretching/hq01447. Updated February 23, 2011. Accessed May 21, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2012 -
- Update Date: 05/21/2012 -