Before commencing a training program, a thorough medical checkup is advisable. Your doctor is the finish point of your first
Ensure you have suitable training equipment. A good pair of trackshoes will assist comfort and reduce injury when walking,
jogging or running.
The key to success is consistency. Try to do some physical activity on most days for a minimum of 30 minutes per day and build
up to 60 minutes per day.
Establish a training routine based on your personal goals and training plan.
Set yourself both short term and long term goals.
It is often good to have a training partner or to work in groups, preferably at approximately your own fitness level. Mutual
support, commitment and social interaction can enrich the training sessions
Be the tortoise rather than the hare. Follow a gradual training build-up. Always err on the side of safety. Moderation is a
key training principle; overdoing anything can be harmful. Start slowly and gradually increase the time spent and the effort
Warm up at the beginning of each training session. Stretch when you are sweating – never stretch cold. Warm ups should take
much longer on cold days.
Warm down at the end of each training session. Include specific stretching; the warm down reduces muscle soreness. Only
stretch to a feeling of tension but never pain. Stretch slowly and gently. Do not hold your breath when stretching. Hold each
stretch for 10-20 seconds. Stretch each muscle group 2-3 times. Do not bounce or stretch rapidly. Entire stretching session
should last for 15 minutes.
Stretching is an important component of any fitness program.
Learn to listen to your body. Allow yourself to have rest days to recover if you are tired and continually sore. Be aware of
your own limitations.
Sports massage assists recovery.
Severe muscle soreness should not last more than one day. Expect some muscle soreness if you are beginning training after a
period of physical inactivity.
If you become injured or ill, do not try to catch up on training missed or a recurrence is likely. Simply work back up to the
training routine very gradually and sensibly. Respect injuries and illnesses.
Choose physical activities that are enjoyable.
If walking or jogging, start on level ground and tackle the hills later.
If possible avoid walking on hard surfaces such as concrete or bitumen; choose soft-based walking trails, parks, golf courses
Uneven terrain and road camber can be significant in causing injuries, particularly to the knees and feet.
Maintain your training diary and record all your workouts. Your diary is a good record of your consistency and progress and
can be a source of satisfaction of what you have achieved.
Follow a balanced diet ensuring all five food groups are obtained. Remember to eat at least two to three hours before training to avoid any stomach
Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, whilst in training to replace the amounts lost through sweating. Avoid alcohol as it limits fluid
As a safeguard a glass of water should be drunk 30 minutes prior to the effort.
Ensure you have adequate sleep and plenty of rest.
Variety in venue and program maintains mental freshness and a thirst for physical activity.
Only extreme weather conditions should prevent you from training. Your training gear should suit the conditions. For example, during the warmer months,
wear clothing that breathes.
As a general rule, it is dangerous to train in temperatures over 29 degrees Celsius. Train at dawn or dusk during the hotter months. Tolerance for heat
deteriorates as one becomes older.
Be prepared to tolerate some discomfort – gradually step outside your comfort zone. However avoid any exercises in which you experience pain.
Do not attempt to walk or jog through an ache in the chest, general malaise or nausea.
You can monitor your own progress by measuring your resting pulse rate, body weight and increased feeling of well-being.
At various times your training may become a chore but your satisfaction of having achieved some of your goals will far outweigh these minor struggles.