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Ease Into Exercise with these Low-Intensity Workout Tips

By Staci Amend

If your Jenny Craig weight loss journey is already under way, congratulations! You’ve made a commitment to healthier choices, and that’s a good thing. And, since regular exercise is an essential part of your healthy lifestyle, you may also be thinking about starting a workout program. Jenny Craig advises 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, plus muscle-strengthening activity that involves all the major muscle groups 2 times per week.

If this sounds intimidating to you, you’re not alone—just the thought of walking through a weight room is enough to give lots of us the cold sweats! But fear not: exercise need not be a major commitment or a trying ordeal. Here are our tips for easing into exercise.

Find movement everywhere.
Regular exercise can take SO many forms—and lots of them don’t ever involve setting foot in a gym! Start taking the stairs at work. Take over your family’s dog-walking duties. Volunteer to shag balls at soccer practice. Take the kids for a bike ride…bonus points for towing your little ones in a trailer. If the weather’s not cooperating, take a brisk walk around the mall. And if you DO enjoy the camaraderie of a class, whether it’s restorative yoga or Curves circuit training, set aside that time for yourself.

Start small. Go slow.
If you’re an absolute beginner (i.e. you’ve never really exercised on a regular basis) it’s wise to talk to your doctor about workout programs that might be appropriate for you. If you’re moderately active and want to make your activity more regular, though, just start slow. Make a commitment you know you can stick with—say, 20 minutes, two days a week—and give yourself a month to get on board. Set goals; if the first month goes well, consider adding minutes to your workouts, or days to your schedule.

Plan it out… or not.
It’s also important to respect your natural inclinations. If you’re a planner, consider adding your weekly workout schedule to your Jenny Craig menu, or creating a simple workout calendar. But if being spontaneous makes you feel more motivated, let it happen when it will… the when doesn’t matter as long as it does happen. Staying in your comfort zone with regard to scheduling will help you stick with the program when the going gets tough.

Add up those stolen moments.
Though you’ll ultimately want to work your way up to 20 or 30 minutes, don’t assume that shorter or less-frequent workouts aren’t valuable. When it comes to exercise, every moment really does count! If you can only spare 10 minutes on a given day, push yourself a little harder or go a bit longer the next time. It all adds up to healthier habits, and a happier you.

*Rock, CL et. al., JAMA. Oct 2010, Vol 304, No 16, 1803-1811.

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