To Your Health
May, 2015 (Vol. 09, Issue 05)
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Move It or Lose It

By Editorial Staff

Have you stopped moving lately and can't seem to get the "car" started again? Or perhaps you've never driven in the first place and don't know where to start. Either way, there are simple ways to adopt a sensible exercise program that will improve your physical and mental health in no time at all.

Here are three suggestions to help you start moving it before you end up losing it:

  • The Power of Pace: An effective exercise program doesn't require you to hit the door sprinting every day, particularly if you haven't been active in awhile (or ever). In fact, exercising for too long or at too vigorous a pace can lead to a sprain, strain or overuse injury that will put you back on the couch for weeks or even longer. Your body's not used to an advanced core or interval routine; so don't overdo it right away. Start with activities like daily walking (30 minutes or more); basic body-weight maneuvers (planks, push-ups, lunges) and build from there.

  • Never a Dull Moment: While you're phasing in the intensity, duration and complexity of your workouts, you'll likely discover certain activities you like more than others. It's OK to have "go-to" exercises, but don't get stuck in a rut and do the same routine over and over week after week, month after month, or you'll end up bored – and not just mentally. As you body adapts to the same workout, it gets "bored," too, in the sense that it stops being challenged. An unchallenged body doesn't respond to the activity stresses you place upon it, pure and simple. So mix things up and keep the results – and motivation – in motion.

  • exercise - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Give It Time: Looking for immediate results? Give it time. How long did it take to assume your current physical condition? Then don't expect to turn things around in a few weeks. Yes, you'll feel better, but fitness is a process and results manifest when you least expect them (sometimes when you're taking a short break from your regular routine, believe it or not). So keep your chin up, stick to the "plan" and a few months from now, you'll be in a much better place than you are today!

Talk to your doctor for more tips and advice on starting an exercise program, particularly if you have a pre-existing health condition that could limit certain activities.