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How do I start a workout routine?

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Most people start a workout by doing a warm-up. Here are some sample warm-ups for the following:

Basketball or baseball (optional)

Dancing, hiking, hiking, swimming, biking, running, swimming

Meditation, yoga, massage, tai chi, or a variety of other types of breathing exercises or self-hypnosis

Running, swimming, yoga, or swimming

Cycling, running, cycling, yoga, or cycling

Kettlebell swings, jumping jacks, or hopping rope

Singing, playing an instrument, reading, or other types of music

This is optional — it’s up to you how many times a day you do it so long as your goal is a 5-minute walk or jog.

What should I wear to begin?

A white workout T-shirt or sweatshirt, and long, loose fitting pants and high tops

A loose, sports bra, and athletic shorts, if you feel you need to wear them

Wearing sweatpants, with socks or flip flops

Wearing loose jeans

A pair of Nike running shoes (no-drop) (optional/not advised)

A pair of running socks (not recommended; recommended or required/not recommended)

Any type of hiking shoes will work well

It will be best if you get a gym bag, for easier carrying, if required; you can get one for a few dollars. One bag is enough, as the most popular workouts require lots, if not a lot of space. (See my article on this topic in the November issue of Women’s Running.)

Should I do this during a typical workout?

Not if your goal is a 5-minute walk or jog, since you can’t just stop when you finish. Instead, you should complete a full circuit of as many exercise steps as you can take comfortably until you’re done.

Can I do it during the day?

Yes, you can practice walking for a few minutes outside at noon each day until you get a rhythm (your goal is 1-minute walks).

When can I start?

You should begin at least two weeks before your race, and every two to four weeks after you finish that race. As you start running and doing this workout program, you can add more exercise time by gradually adding one or more new exercise steps or intervals. If you feel you need to increase or