“Don’t go running every day,” he said. “It gets boring and you get to a point where you don’t have fun anymore. Try a bike or the elliptical or whatever you enjoy the most. If you enjoy playing basketball or tennis, do so because you’re more likely to stick to something that you enjoy. “
Also, alternate between the four different types of exercise, namely aerobics, resistance training (strength training), flexibility (including yoga) and balance, which is especially important for seniors.
Tip 4: Know Your Weight And How To Use It Properly
Most people are confused the first time they walk into a gym, Higgins said, but they are afraid to seek advice. But if that is you, you can get over it.
“If you don’t know, ask,” he said. “By law, gyms have to have people who show you how to exercise on the machine, and it can keep you from getting badly injured.”
Additionally, many newbies to the gym aim for the heaviest weight they can – a rookie mistake.
“Get on a weight machine and start with the lowest weight, pull it down and move on from there. Just keep adding the weight until you get to a point where you can only do one or none. This is too much”
Once you’ve found your max weight, you should start with two-thirds of that number.
“You should be able to do about 12 reps,” said Higgins. “It should be easy, but it shouldn’t be so hard that you try.”
Finally, once you are at a weight that you are comfortable with, you don’t get too eager to increase it.
“You shouldn’t increase it more than 10 percent in a week,” Higgins said. “When you do this, your risk of injury increases exponentially.”
Tip 5: know when to take a break
Often times when people start they are overzealous and try to hit the gym every day, Higgins said. However, if you don’t let your body rest, you can do much more harm than good.
“If you don’t give your body time to heal and repair itself, your performance will deteriorate and you will get into a vicious circle in which you will never fully recover,” he said.
And if you’re sore after exercising, that’s fine – unless it hurts too much.
“It’s normal to have aches and pains after a workout,” said Higgins. “Don’t run away to take a pain reliever, as it can mask pain and cause real harm to your body. Let yourself relax, of course. “