It’s common knowledge that exercise is good for us. It can help manage stress and chronic medical conditions, and even protect us from certain health issues. However, not everyone knows how much exercise they should be aiming to get each day, or how to stay motivated to get it done. Fortunately, physical therapist Scott Gorham has some insight.

For one thing, setting goals can help. As Scott puts it, “Once you turn any regular activity into a goal-oriented activity that you can try and achieve, people typically become more motivated to achieve those goals. And then when you achieve your goals, you get a good sense of accomplishment and that makes you […] want to continue to meet those goals.”

In addition to goal-setting, our conversation with Scott on the For Health’s Sake podcast covered a number of other helpful topics, including:

  • How much exercise to get per week
  • How to add physical activity into your daily routine
  • How to pick a type of strength training
  • The benefits of aerobics versus weight-bearing exercises

Start at your own pace

When starting an exercise routine, you don’t have to take the most intense option available. “I think the biggest thing is consistency,” says Scott. “What sort of exercise can you do consistently day in and day out, whether it's taking steps or using your exercise machine at home?”

Once you’re in the habit of doing something consistently, then you can start to increase the intensity of what you’re doing. There’s no rush. What’s important is that you’re making physical activity a regular part of your daily life.

Be sure to talk to your primary care doctor before starting any new exercise routine.