Are your gym shoes tucked away in the corner of the closet?  Forgotten where the workout clothes are? Or has your gym membership expired after having your sweet little baby? You know all the benefits of exercising and what it can do for your health, but where do you begin after taking time off? Running the kids from one play date to the next can feel like exercise but it is just not the same! If you have been inactive and are just starting your exercise regimen, the following tips will help get you going.

1.    Wear appropriate shoes and gear

Getting fitted for the right shoe will prevent shin splints, knee problems and possibly back pain. Sport socks are made to provide that extra cushion and draw away moisture to keep your feet cool and prevent athlete’s feet – invest in a couple pairs! Dress appropriately for the temperature and humidity with layers that you can remove once you get warm.

2.    Warm up

Before lacing up and hitting the pavement, or jumping off the couch for some jumping jacks, make sure to do a warm up. This will help to loosen your muscles and prevent injuries from the more rigorous activities to come. Make sure your warm up begins gradually – stretch the muscles once they are warmed and not cold. Stretching when cold can increase the risk of injury from pulls and tears.

3.    Stay hydrated

Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout, especially as the warmer weather approaches.  Reaching for that sports drink after your workout will help to quickly restore the electrolytes and liquids lost, however be aware that these types of drinks are high in sugar content and could potentially add calories you just worked so hard to lose!

4.    Take it slow

Gradually increase intensity and time as you become stronger.  While exercising is great for you health, it can also result in injuries such as sprains or pulled muscles.  Listen to your body and stop if you feel dizzy, faint or have shortness of breath.

5.    Cool down

This is just as important as warming up.  Your body needs time to return to the resting state.  Simple stretches are perfect for this cool down.

By Lillian Lee. Lillian Lee is the local franchise owner for Baby Boot Camp, serving families in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton and San Ramon, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Contact lillian.lee@babybootcamp.com or call 925-353-6193 for more info, or visit www.babybootcamp.com.