Try to do strength exercises for all of your major muscle groups at least 2 days per week, but don’t exercise the same muscle group on any 2 days in a row. If you’re just starting, you might need to use 1- or 2-pound weights, or no weight at all. Your body needs to get used to strength exercises. You can use common objects from your home, such as bottled water or soup cans. Or, you can use the strength-training equipment at a fitness center or gym. Use light weights the first week, then gradually add more. Starting out with weights that are too heavy can cause injuries. Use proper form for safety. To prevent injury, don’t jerk or thrust weights into position. Use smooth, steady movements. Avoid “locking” your arm and leg joints in a tightly straightened position.
Using a resistance band
Resistance bands are stretchy elastic bands that come in several strengths, from light to heavy. You can use them in some strength exercises instead of weights. If you are a beginner, try exercising without the band or use a light band until you are comfortable. Add a band or move on to a stronger band when you can do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily. Hold on to the band tightly (some bands have handles) or wrap it around your hand or foot to keep it from slipping and causing possible injury. Do the exercises in a slow, controlled manner, and don’t let the band snap back.
- Don’t hold your breath during strength exercises and breathe regularly.
- Breathe out as you lift or push, and breathe in as you relax.
- Talk with your doctor if you are unsure about doing a particular exercise.