Starting an Exercise Routine or Sport

Why Warm Up Before #Exercising
To start an activity/exercise program, we need to get loose. In the mornings on arising we are stiff and have to loosen up. We stretch and move slower until we feel limber. As you can probably guess, loosening up is easier in the summertime than in the wintertime.

   Stretching Before Exercise – 5 to  10 Minutes  Recommended

  • Stiff, cold muscles and joints are easier to injure. They are tight and not limber.
  • Start gently and slowly to awaken the muscles and joints, and also to increase breathing, and  the heart rate.

Standing and Stretching

  • Reach for the sky.
  • Hug yourself.
  • Look to the shoulders, the floor and the sky.
  • Bend sideways at the waist – to the left and then the right.
  • Bend towards the floors– go as far as you can comfortably, and with time you will go further.
  • Stand in front of a wall with your legs crossed while leaning toward the wall ?Then cross your legs the other way to reverse the position.
  • Bend the knees with the feet approaching the buttocks

Stretching on the Floor or Bed

  • Sit on the side of the bed and bend toward the toes-hang arms to the floor
  • Sit crossed legged slowly try and get the soles of the feet together uncrossing the legs dropping the knees to the flat surface
  • Fold yourself forward over the legs from the hips
  • Start all activity slowly, increasing the speed of the activity within the first 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Ideally, school age youth should participate everyday in 60 minutes or more of moderate vigorous physical activity that is enjoyable and developmentally appropriate
  • Exercising each day burns 100-400 calories.
Overweight and obesity have become epidemic in multicultural populations, especially in African-American women, and then Latinas (Latino women). Childhood and teen obesity are also increasing rapidly. Obesity and Overweight Race & Ethnicity Tables in our Health Trends and Other Data Section show the severity of these conditions. Also, see our Tip Sheet on ‘Calories Burned by Different Activities‘.
Check our Overweight and Obesity Section to determine if you know the leading factors contributing to Overweight and Obesity. Return to Directory


  1. Kimothy Jones MSPH

    I was advised by a physician and Yogi Master to make water your “drink of choice” first thing in the morning, before eating/ drinking anything else…. AND, definitely before engaging in any form of stretching or exercise. Your body will feel more rejuvenated and pliable.

    1. amron3020

      Hello Kimothy,
      That advice sounds ok to me, because it’s a good idea to drink a lot of water every day, no matter what time of day you start. Maybe you were told to drink water the first thing in the morning so that you wouldn’t get distracted and forget to start the day right toward drinking at least 8 glasses daily.


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