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Started Your New Years Resolution to Exercise?

10 February 2014

Started Your New Years Resolution to Exercise?

Congratulations you have made an important decision to improve your health.

It’s a wise choice as physical inactivity is responsible for 6 percent of deaths worldwide. Getting active can reduce your risk of chronic diseases and disabilities such as:

• heart disease
• stroke
• type 2 diabetes
• colon cancer
• breast cancer
• high blood pressure
• osteoporosis
• osteoarthritis.

Only 54 percent of New Zealand adults meet the minimum recommended level of physical activity, so if you are new to exercise then you are not alone. It’s not always easy to get started, but the effort is worth it improving the quality and length of your life, and there is plenty of help for you along the way.

To help you get started, here are 5 things you need to know before you start a new exercise programme.

1) What is your current health status?
If you have health issues a check in with your medical professional to get the all clear before exercising is wise. For those with no underlying issues, a health screen is still a good idea. In New Zealand, REPs Registered Exercise Professional have the recognised skills and qualifications, and will sit down with you and ask about your medical/injury history and what exercise you have done. This is important, as while the benefits of exercise outweigh the risk, you want to make sure you are doing the right type of exercise for you.

2) What your exercise level is like now?
It can be daunting to get measured, but knowing your current physical shape and exercise level will give you the opportunity to check later and see how well you are progressing. Just as your health status will impact on your exercise programme, so will your exercise levels, so getting checked will mean your trainer will know what level of intensity you should start out at.

The good news is that exercise level testing today is a whole lot different to what you experienced in PE classes when you were at high school. When a REPs Registered Exercise Professional trains, they get first hand knowledge and experience with a range of exercise level tests so you will be in safe hands. Testing can be as simple as measuring you with a tape measure, or seeing how long it takes you to walk a set distance.

3) What do you want to achieve?
Knowing what you want to achieve is important when starting out. You don’t need to know exactly where you will be in a year, BUT guess what exercise professionals know?

When people set SMART goals they are more likely to achieve them. SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely will help you map your exercise journey.

4) What is the best exercise plan for you?
Carla Langmead, a REPs Registered trainer based in Wanganui makes this recommendation: "Before starting any exercise regime make sure you know what activities you actually enjoy doing. Not only should your exercise plan meet your goals, but it needs to resonate and have likeability for stickability".

Just because the latest magazine suggests a new fitness craze works wonders for celebrities doesn’t mean it will be right for you. There are plenty of choices and options and when you get your exercise programme from a REPs Registered Professional, you can be sure it will be safe and effective for you.

5) That exercising is worth it!
The most common images of fitness we see are the lean toned bodies achieving amazing physical feats. These images can be inspiring BUT you don’t need to aim for these ideals in order to get benefits from physical activity. Physical activity and exercise is not just about getting to a physical goal, it’s about improving your health today and every day.

The effort is worth it; every day you get active you improve your health and lengthen your life.

How can you find a REPs Registered Exercise Professional to help you get started?
It’s as simple as heading to www.reps.org.nz. If you are currently working with someone who is giving you exercise advice, make sure they are REPs registered. It’s your guarantee that they meet industry standards to deliver safe exercise advice.

http://www.health.govt.nz

Who is the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)?
REPs is an independent non profit organisation administrating the New Zealand exercise professionals register to ensure that the public receive safe and effective exercise advice.

Using REPs Registered Exercise Professionals is the “Warrant of Fitness Check” that exercise professionals and facilities meet New Zealand and internationally benchmarked standards to deliver exercise advice and instruction. REPs is affiliated globally to other national exercise professional registers representing over 70,000 exercise professionals through the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) - www.icreps.org.

ENDS

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