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Moving Well in 2020, Let's Get Started…

Written by: Dr. Robert Neposlan


Research shows that it is important for each of us to exercise at least 30-minutes each day. It’s great to hear and see radio programs, public health campaigns, newspaper, magazine and internet articles increasingly promoting this lifestyle change. I recently read an MSN headline espousing the importance of exercise and suggesting that we start with baby steps. I too have been suggesting this for years in my practice and in these articles. In order to make big changes in your life, start with small steps. They add up and pretty soon you’ll feel energized and alive like you never imagined.

And so, like many others, you have made a commitment to move/exercise in 2020. Where do you begin? Here are some helpful tips….

1. Decide Why You Want to Exercise

We often focus on reasons why we can’t, or won’t, exercise. Yet, the most important thing is why you do want to? Are you trying to lose weight? Build strength? Improve balance and coordination? Play with the grand kids? Or how about this one…. improve your health and LIVE LONGER?

Focus on the good things that will come from your decisions, not the bad/negative things in your life right now. This will help when you feel your motivation is lacking. The hardest most difficult step in all of this is the first ONE….getting started.

2. Start Slowly

Begin your exercise program gradually. This isn’t a race. It has taken years for your body to get to its present state. Accept the fact that regaining YOUR optimum health is going to take some time. And so you might start by walking a block or two, or if you can, a mile or two, then gradually increase your pace and distance. After you feel your body beginning to shape up, you can start with other forms of higher intensity exercise. You may even consider getting a gym membership. If you find the gym intimidating, then you may want to consider doing at-home, full-body workouts. Youtube has a variety of exercise tutorials and routines that you can follow for free. Choose the one that matches your skill level and pace.

3. Be Realistic

Be realistic about what to expect, and you’ll begin to feel changes in your body and endurance within a short period of time. You also need to be realistic about how often you can exercise. In the beginning, it is not realistic or wise to think that you can go from 0 to 7 days a week starting at day 1. Try starting out with three days a week instead, and be sure to give your body time to recover between your workouts.

4. Schedule it in

This is important!! One of the most common reasons why people fall off the exercise wagon is, “there’s not enough time.” If you schedule exercise into your routine — just as you would a chiropractic appointment or your child’s soccer match — you’ll have no excuse. Write it down on your calendar and when it’s time to exercise…exercise! I read somewhere years ago that if you commit to something for a period of 22 days then it becomes a habit…make that commitment to yourself, make it a habit!!!

5. Variety

There’s a reason why they say, “variety is the spice of life.” Exercise does not have to be boring or tedious. In fact, it can be enjoyable if you simply vary your workouts. If you decide to join the gym, you’ll find plenty of variety (yoga, aerobics, pool, cardio & weights). Varying your walks either a different route or place (the large dirt hill at the soccer fields OR on the sand at Holiday beach) ensures that you’re working all different muscle groups and getting all the benefits that exercise has to offer.

6. Don’t Overdo It

Once you start exercising again, you may find it to be highly addictive (especially after 22 days). This is a good thing, as long as you listen to your body to avoid injury or burnout. If you’re overly sore or short of breath, back off on the intensity. If you don’t feel well one day, remember that it’s OK to take a day off. If you have serious health issues, consult with your doctor and make sure she/he is on board with your plans.

7. Get an Exercise Partner

It’s often more fun to exercise with a friend, and your workout partner can encourage you to keep going if you’re losing motivation (and vice versa). For best results, try to find someone who’s at the same fitness level as you are. If resources are not a concern, you can get many of the same benefits by trying out a personal trainer at a local gym or fitness club.

8. Make Your Goals Easy and Measurable (being realistic)

If you set exercise goals that are too intense (such as, “I will go to the gym for 1.5 hours every day”), you will be overwhelmed and likely give up after a few days. Instead, set goals that you can achieve, such as, “This week I will walk for 20 minutes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” or “I will attend yoga class on Tuesday and go to aerobics on Saturday.” These goals are easy, and you can measure them to make sure you stayed on track.

9. Reward Yourself

Reward yourself not based on how many inches or pounds you’ve lost, but for simply sticking to your workout goals. KNOW that there are positive changes taking place regardless of what the scale says. Remember, many of the benefits of exercise will be seen in improved function and these cannot always be measured in pounds and inches!!!

Until next month,

Move Well

Dr. Rob

1 Join the Conversation

  1. Jill Imeson says
    Feb 19, 2020 at 10:38 AM

    Always known this. Now to get moving.

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