It’s never too late to reap the benefits of a regular workout routine. Get nine tips to help you get into the swing of things and to prevent injuries.

80% of Americans are not doing enough exercise to maintain good health. It’s not uncommon for people to fall out of a regular exercise routine especially in midlife. We get it. There are only so many hours in the day and prioritizing a workout over family and work might not seem like the best use of your time. However, countless studies show that it’s one of the best things you can do to maintain your health, reduce health risks and increase your productivity both at work and home.

We recently stumbled onto some great tips published by Harvard Health to help get you back into a regular exercise routine and prevent injuries. We’ve added some comments and links to additional resources.

Nine tips from Harvard Health to help get you back into a regular exercise routine.

1/ Get a medical check-up before you begin a moderate to vigorous exercise program, particularly if you are older than 40, if you have medical problems, or if you have not exercised previously.

Peter Gerbino MD is available to answer questions and guide you through the medical clearance process. Dr. Gerbino is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine and an Olympic team physician currently supporting the US figure skating team.

2/ Eat and drink appropriately. Don’t eat for two hours before you exercise, but drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise, particularly in warm weather.

3/ Warm up before you exercise and cool down afterward. Stroll before you walk, and walk before you jog. Stretches and light calisthenics are ideal warm-up and cool-down activities.

4/ Dress simply. Aim for comfort, convenience, and safety rather than style.

5/ Use good equipment. Invest in good shoes.

6/ Exercise regularly. Unless you are ill or injured, try to exercise nearly every day, but alternate harder workouts with easier ones. Give yourself enough time to recover from injuries and illness — and remember that recovery may take longer as you age.

7/ Explore a variety of activities to find what suits you best. Variety will keep your muscles fresh and will keep you from getting stale or bored. Build a well-rounded program. Add strength training, stretches, and exercises for balance to your basic endurance exercise [aka: cardio].

8/ Exercise safely. Adjust your routine in weather that is hot, cold, or wet.

9/ Listen to your body. Do not ignore aches and pains that may signify injury; early treatment can often prevent more serious problems. Do not exercise if you are feverish or ill. Work yourself back into shape gradually after a layoff, particularly after illness or injury.

Exercise thy lasting youth defends. ~ British poet John Gay