Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any activity plan or increasing your activity. It's also important to ask him or her what your target heart rate is to help determine what exercise intensity may be appropriate for you.
Becoming active comes with many benefits. Here’s a plan that may help make it happen.
Before you create your workout plan, it may help to create exercise goals.
Create SMART fitness goals
It’s helpful to first ask yourself: "Am I happy with my current level of activity? Where do I want to be? What is motivating me? Am I trying to lose a little weight? To become more fit? To start walking?" All are worthy goals, and there are many more in addition to these. To help you pick your fitness goal, follow the SMART method described just below.
For example, let’s say your goal is, "I want to be able to walk for 20 minutes continuously by the end of 4 weeks." This is a SMART goal because it is:
- Specific: 20 minutes of walking in 4 weeks. This provides better focus, which is especially helpful when it comes to making a plan
- Measurable: No problem here. You can easily measure 20 minutes of walking by using your phone, watch, or a stop watch
- Achievable: Is 20 minutes of walking in 4 weeks something you can do? The idea is to choose a goal within your reach, but challenging enough to motivate you
- Realistic: Will you stick to it? You have to be honest with yourself about your commitment to starting a new program
- Time-frame specific: Specifying 4 weeks gives you a definite period of time