Hundreds of studies have shown that regular exercise lowers the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even certain forms of cancer. If you’ve never had a formal exercise program or you’ve allowed your exercise routine to lapse over the years because of illness, time pressures or family obligations, the idea of starting to exercise may seem daunting. “Starting to Exercise”, the first-ever online course by Harvard Health Publishing, may be what you’ve been looking for.

Obviously, all exercise is good. It’s equally true that some exercises are better than others. “Starting to Exercise” comprises forty-one exercises developed by doctors and wellness experts at Harvard Medical School that they say will help you achieve greater overall fitness and make a measurable and lasting difference to your health and longevity. They include aerobic workouts for better cardiovascular health, strength training for bones and muscles plus essential balance and flexibility exercises.

The online course which can be accessed anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, comprises instructive videos in which master trainers demonstrate the proper technique for exercises including stationary lunges, hip extensions, and an everyday cardio-workout. Every exercise is illustrated and fully explained with helpful tips and techniques for maximizing the exercise’s benefits. You’ll learn the recommended number of sets and reps, and how to tailor the exercise to your schedule or level of fitness. Designed to make the most of your time and effort, it’s easy to find specific exercises, to pause a video, go back to repeat a routine, or speed ahead to a new workout. In addition to the videos, there are downloadable exercise planning worksheets, week-by-week training guides, tips for exercising safely and keeping workouts fresh and fun.

Whatever your motivation for taking this course, Harvard Health Publishing says it will help you combine knowledge with action and give you the tools you need to take your fitness to the next level. The full online course is available for just $29.95

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