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Designing an Exercise Program for HIV-Positive People

for Veterans and the Public

Designing a program

When beginning an exercise program, start slow and build. Start any exercise session with a warmup. This can be as short as a few stretches, if you are working out later in the day when your muscles and joints are already loose, or a short 10-minute stretch session if you are working out first thing in the morning, when your muscles and joints are still tight. Your warmup should not tire you out but invigorate you and decrease the risk of joint or muscle injury.

If you join a gym, ask about what comes with the membership. Many gyms offer a free evaluation that includes weighing and measuring you and asking what your goals are. Some gym memberships come with a free workout with a personal trainer and advice to help you achieve your goals.

Finding a workout partner can be helpful for support and encouragement, and your workout partner can help motivate you with the last repetitions of an exercise, which can help improve your strength.

A balanced exercise program is best. Starting with an aerobic exercise is a good warmup to a resistance training session. Remember that learning the correct form in a weight training program will lessen the chance of injury. Go at your own pace. You are not competing with anyone. Listen to your body. If it hurts, stop.