Choose an exercise or activity that you enjoy. Choose something safe, and achievable that you can fit into your day-to-day life. For example, if you have problems with your balance, it may be better to use a static exercise bike from which you can easily get on and off.
- Remember activities like housework or walking to work are also all good exercise.
- Start slowly with any new exercise or physical activity; know your limits.
- Do short sessions and build up gradually.
Planning your activity/ exercise
- Include a warm-up and cool-down before exercising.
- ‘Mix and match’ your exercises to let your muscles recover and have periods of rest. For example, if you have done a lot of walking (aerobic exercise using your legs), you may want your next exercise session to be strengthening exercises focusing on your arm and core muscles.
Intensity of exercise
- With aerobic exercise (for example, walking), you should feel comfortably out of breath but still be able to talk, and the exercise should make you perspire a little.
- With new strengthening exercises, you are likely to feel a little bit achy but muscle soreness should have gone within 48 hours.
- Do not exercise to exhaustion. Stop and rest when you need to.
- ‘Pace’ your activities and take into consideration what other things you may be doing for the rest of the day/week – little and often is the key.
- You should not experience increased tiredness/fatigue that limits what you can do the next day.
- Avoid excessive ‘eccentric’ activity. This means avoiding repetitive tasks or exercises where the muscle is being lengthened, for example squats.
- Muscle ‘tiredness’ can be confused with muscle ‘weakness’, but tiredness should improve after you have rested. Remember, when you are tired your balance is not as good, so take care not to fall.
- Exercises should not be painful.
- Remember to protect your joints when you exercise by making sure you’re in the correct position/posture.
- In very rare circumstances, people with muscle-wasting conditions can experience changes in the colour of their urine after exercise (in other words, urine that appears the colour of black tea or cola). Attend A&E if you notice such a change, as this could be a condition called myoglobinuria.