3 Recommendations for Starting a Physical Activity

Starting to exercise regularly is one of the best decisions a person can make for their well-being. What should you keep in mind if you're a beginner to the exercise world?
3 Recommendations for Starting a Physical Activity
Carlos Fabián Avila

Reviewed and approved by Doctor Carlos Fabián Avila.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

The instinct of human beings leads them to look for ways to survive day after day. However, the evolution of the world brings with it various problems, such as sedentary lifestyles and the consumption of ultra-processed foods, which hinder this goal. Despite this, there are several alternatives to improve our quality of life, and one of them is physical activity.

However, if you are a person who has not exercised regularly in the past, starting just like that will probably generate injuries or discomfort that will undermine your motivation. Therefore, it is advisable that the first step into the world of fitness is consciously and with proper planning.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is an excellent tool to improve the lives of human beings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), any bodily movement that demands an expenditure of energy is considered physical activity.

Another WHO publication states that inactivity is one of the most important causes of death in the world. According to this entity, non-communicable diseases related to sedentary lifestyles are the main public health problem in many countries around the world.

More reasons for starting a physical activity

Physical activity not only increases human life expectancy, but is also considered a way of life. In fact, many people today see exercise as a way of life.

For example, through physical activity, we make new acquaintances and  adopt new habits; in addition, the most influential of all is diet.

The main reasons to become physically active revolve around vital conservation. Here are some of the main ones highlighted in a publication by Manual Merck. According to this publication, physical activity:

  • Accelerates the burning of calories.
  • Provides energy to the body.
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases.
  • Prevents stress, anxiety, and moodiness.
  • Prevents lethargy and boosts energy levels.
  • Improves our physical abilities such as strength, endurance, speed, and elasticity, among others.

You may be interested in reading this article: The Increase in Heart Rate During Physical Activity

How to start doing physical activity?

Everything has a beginning and, when they’re positive things for life, it’s more worth trying. This is the case with physical activity, which requires some care for beginners. Let’s take a look.

1. Consider your situation

Médico hablando con paciente en el preoperatorio.

Everyone can be physically active, but it’s necessary to consider every person’s unique situation. The first thing to do is to evaluate the medical condition. For example, this is the case if you suffer from diseases such as asthma or arthritis, which require more detailed attention and, in some cases, personalized routines.

Based on the above, it’s advisable to consult a doctor and a professional in the field of physical activity in order to address a program according to your personal conditions.

2. Regulate the time of activity

The body is not yet adapted to the pace of physical activity. For this reason, the best option is to go step by step, and time is a determining factor in this matter.

First of all, finding a free space in your schedule is fundamental. Make sure you find a schedule that’s comfortable for you and that motivates you to get into the habit of exercising.

On the other hand, in order to carry out an adequate adaptation process, you must regulate the time of physical activity. It’s best to start with 2 or 3 times a week in sessions of a maximum of 30 minutes and a minimum of 20 minutes.

With the passing of the weeks, the times should be increased, to avoid the body getting used to the same stimuli and that these cease to be effective. However, do this with care and patience, as overexertion can lead to an injury that completely halts your progress.

3. Warm up before and stretch after physical activity

Prior to each training routine or the practice of any sports discipline, muscle activation is necessary. According to a publication on the Mayo Clinic website, its relevance lies in the increase of blood circulation to the muscles, in addition to producing a greater activation of the cardiovascular system.

Therefore, it’s best to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before starting the activity. According to the aforementioned article, the best way to do it is with slow movements, mainly of the muscle groups that will be used the most in the subsequent session.

In the same way, at the end of the training, you should dedicate 5 to 10 minutes to stretching, but not too hard. The purpose of stretching is to prevent certain muscle injuries and reduce post-exercise pain, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Like this article? You may also like to read: The Mental and Physical Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Starting a physical activity: What physical activity should you do?

starting a physical activity

Based on the concept set out by the WHO, any activity can be appropriate, as long as it requires physical effort. Keep in mind that some types of exercise may not be a good idea if you suffer from any physical or health condition. In this case, make sure to consult your doctor.

However, it’s best that each person chooses an entertaining and motivating discipline so that lack of desire and boredom aren’t an impediment in the medium or long term. Some popular alternatives are cycling, dancing, swimming, and track and field, but there are many, many more!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.