Fitness options for beginners include a variety of cardiovascular activities, strength training exercises and flexibility movements. Engaging in a variety of activities is best for overall fitness, but choosing one in the beginning may depend on an individual's personal health, fitness goals, preferences and abilities.
There are different types and levels of physical activities that help to reduce and manage weight, regulate blood pressure and reduce risk of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Regular exercise also helps prevent conditions such as arthritis and depression. It's key for beginners to start with activities they enjoy, increasing the chances of making it a long-term habit. Aerobic exercise, such as walking and running, is a good start. Beginners should strive for 20 to 30 minutes, four to five days a week. The optimal level of intensity should be moderate, meaning a person should be able to converse without becoming overly winded.
A good way to start out with strength training is with one set of exercises that targets all of the major muscle groups. Each exercise should consist of eight to 12 repetitions with a comfortable weight. Trainees should strive to perform the routine at least twice a week and as it becomes more comfortable, increase the weights, the number of repetitions and sets to make it more challenging. Additionally, flexibility training consisting of slow, sustained stretches lasting between 10 and 30 seconds, should be performed at least three days per week.