- Find a Doctor
- Medical Services
- Patients & Visitors
- Classes & Events
- Health Library
- Why Choose Sharp?
Should I check with a doctor before I begin exercising?
It’s always a good idea to check with your physician before starting an exercising program. When you get the OK to start, begin slowly and progress slowly. This gives your body and your mind time to adjust to the new activity and you’ll be more successful in the long run.
How do I get started?
Let’s say you decide to start walking. Begin by walking just 10 to 15 minutes 3 days a week. If you feel really good after one week, add on another 5 minutes. If your body tells you to continue at 10 to 15 minutes for another week, do that. But when you’re ready, add 5 minutes but never more than once a week. So that by week 4 or 5, you’re walking 20 to 25 minutes, 3 days a week. When you can easily walk 25 to 30 minutes 3 days a week, add on another day so that now you’re walking 30 minutes 4 times a week. When you’re feeling really good at that level, add one more day to make that goal a minimum 5 days a week.
When you first start your exercise program, walk at a comfortable pace. And as you become more fit, increase the speed until you are walking at a moderate or brisk pace. These same guidelines can be used for cycling, swimming or whatever your mode of exercise might be.
What should I do if I want to lose weight?
If your goal is to lose weight or you have heart disease, it’s important to walk longer. For both the heart patient and the person who’s trying to lose weight, it’s recommended that you walk 45 to 60 minutes or more 5 or more days per week.
What are some tips to help me maintain my exercise program?
In order to stay focused and motivated with your exercise program, first truly make a concerted decision to start and keep exercising regularly. Be genuine and serious about making this decision. There are many ways to help yourself stick to the goal of regular exercise. You know yourself best, so help yourself be successful. If you love being outdoors, don’t go to the gym. If you love interacting and socializing with people, exercise with a friend or join a class or group. Exercising with a friend is one of the best ways and perhaps most fun to exercise. It also helps you stay on track when you’ve committed to meet someone on certain days and times. Or maybe for you, it’s listening to music while walking or watching TV or a movie or reading while riding a stationary bike.
We wish you the greatest success and your road to better health and fitness. Remind yourself frequently about the good things you’re doing for yourself. You can do this. Just take the first step.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's senior health services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about senior health, read the Senior Health News archive.