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It’s still early in the year and that means you have plenty of time to reach you New Year’s resolution of losing weight. Sure, you might’ve chowed down on far too many Christmas cookies and with Valentine’s Day around the corner chocolate is everywhere tempting you. But by starting with small goals to modify your lifestyle you can work to reach larger goals.
If you’re still working on what you eat, it might be time to focus on modifying how you move. Incorporating aerobic exercise into your lifestyle will not only help to shed those pound, it also strengthens your heart, fights heart disease and diabetes, and will lower important lab numbers like your cholesterol.
Here are 13 tips to get you started on a healthy aerobic routine:
- Make sure you warm up . Warming up gets your muscles ready for your workout
- Cool down. Cooling down helps your heart come to a stop more slowly, which is healthier for it.
- Start slow. You don’t run a marathon overnight. Start with baby steps and meet yourself where you are. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you aren’t constantly beating yourself up for not being at an unrealistic level.
- Don’t train too hard. Doing so will result in injuries that require rest and will set you behind on your fitness goals.
- Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you’re genuinely feeling unwell, take a day to rest.
- Get enough sleep. Your workouts will suffer and be largely ineffective if you don’t get enough sleep. Make it a point to clock 8 hours every night.
- Don’t overeat. Eating too much can undo any results you might expect from your aerobic workout.
Once you get to a level of training very hard, be sure to replace your electrolytes by enjoying a piece of fruit after a workout.
- Avoid sugary beverages like Gatorade. Unless you’re running a marathon, drinks like Gatorade will simply work against the calories you’ve burnt while working out.
- Wear the right shoes. Good workout shoes are expensive, but it’s absolutely critical that you get a pair of shoes that are intended for whatever you’re doing. This will help to prevent foot and ankle injuries.
- Focus on your form. Whether you’re running or walking, proper form is key to avoiding injury and maximizing results. Many specialty shoe stores will help evaluate your form and give you advice on correcting it. Another option is to hire a personal trainer.
- Dress properly. Wear clothing that’s comfortable and ideal for what you’re doing. If you’re running, baggy clothing will hold you back. Find clothing that fits right so you aren’t focused on what you’re wearing and instead paying attention to what you’re doing.
- Watch the weather. If you plan to workout outside, make sure it’s not too hot. Here in South Texas we see people quite often get heat exhaustion due to working out in our extreme temperatures.
- Plan according to the time of day. If you know temperatures are going to be scorching midday, make sure you plan your workout for the morning or evening. Similarly, if you have to squeeze a workout in but have plans, try splitting it into two shorter sessions or getting it in over your lunch break.