Maybe you vowed to begin exercising or amp up your workouts at the start of the new year or are planning to lace up your sneakers in anticipation of spring. Need a little motivation to get off the couch or to keep striving to reach your goals? There are immediate benefits to even 5 minutes of exercise, such as an improvement in mood, reduction in stress levels, enhanced sleep quality and sharpened mental focus.

While you may see small strides in these areas after just 5 minutes, to really see an improvement and reap the many other benefits of breaking a sweat, each week adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (think walking, jogging, biking or swimming) and two days of muscle strengthening activities such as lifting weights or performing body weight exercises.

Before getting started, check out The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition and Move Your Way Campaign for physical activity guidelines based on your specific factors.

 Any time you initiate exercise, it is important to do so safely in order to reduce the risk of injury. Consider the following before starting a new exercise plan:  

  • Consult with your healthcare provider to identify any specific restrictions or limitations you need to take into account when exercising.
  • Choose appropriate activities to accommodate any physical limitations and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ease into physical activity and gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity as able.
  • If you find yourself with pain or injured, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation. Orthopedic ONE’s Sports Medicine physicians and Sports Medicine Hotline are great resources should you need them!