Back Behind the Wheel: Exercise – Getting Started Is the Hardest Part
January 1, 2004
Walking and running are two excellent forms of exercise, which can easily be done on the road or at home. Twenty minutes a day, three times a week, can significantly reduce many health risks and impro...
Walking and running are two excellent forms of exercise, which can easily be done on the road or at home. Twenty minutes a day, three times a week, can significantly reduce many health risks and improve your quality of life. Exercising regularly will give you more energy, decrease your aches/pains, speed up your metabolism and help you control your weight.
Getting started is the hardest thing to do. The first couple of days/weeks is the “make it or break it” period when beginning a new exercise program is the toughest. During this period, it’s very important to persevere and continue to exercise even though you don’t feel like it. Once you get into a routine, it becomes easier and more enjoyable. To make it easier for you, I will give you a couple of suggestions to get you started and to keep you on track.
Before you get started, you will need to develop an exercise health plan. This plan will guide you through your exercise program and will keep you focus and on track. So begin by writing down five goals related to your health, that you want to achieve in the next month/year. For example a goal can be to lose 25 lbs, walk continuously for 45 minutes, run a 10 km race, decrease your cholesterol or stop smoking, the list is endless. Once you have your goals (reasonable/attainable) written down, you are on your way to achieving them. How are you going to achieve these goals? Hard work (but it’s going to be fun, trust me), commitment and dedication.
To begin achieving your health goals, you need to know where your physical health is at right now. Your general health right now will act as a baseline that you can use for comparison later on, in order to show you how much your health has improved. This is very important because this is the only way to measure (quantify) your improvements. If your goal is to lose 10 lbs, you need to know how much you weigh now and what you want to weigh a year from now. If you want to walk 45 minutes without a break, you need to know how far you can walk now without taking a break. If your goal is to decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol and lower your heart rate, record the readings today so you have quantitative (numbers) to compare it to next year. At the end of your program, compare your health status when you started the program and when you ended it. You will be amazed at the improvement you will have made.
Now that you know what your physical health goals are and where you are at physically, it is time to start achieving your health goals. A general exercise program includes weight training, cardiovascular and nutritional components. Depending on your health goals, each area of your exercise program should be tailored specifically to help you attain your goals.
To get you started, here is a general exercise program. For cardiovascular exercise, try to walk, swim, jog, run, or skip (anything), the key is to keep moving continuously for 20-30 minutes, three times a week (minimum). Start off by doing five-10 minutes and gradually build up to 30 minutes. For the weight training component, begin by doing push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and end with sit-ups. These exercises will strengthen your body and increase your muscle mass. Try to do three sets of 10-15 repetitions three times per week, again start off with three-five repetitions and slowly increase to 15 repetitions. The nutritional component of your exercise health program will be to eat a balanced diet. Try to avoid fatty fried foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Water is very important – make sure you are well hydrated during your exercise program. Always have a water bottle with you, while working out.
If one of your goals is to lose weight, it is critical that your diet and eating habits are good. It is almost impossible to make changes to your physical health, if your diet is poor. Try this program for six weeks. Give it a chance and I guarantee you will feel a lot better.
Now comes the moment of truth. Starting any exercise program is difficult, but once you start you will not be able to stop. Remember your health affects everyone around you.
Until next month take care and drive safely!
– Dr. Jerry Singh, B. Kin., D.C., runs Trans Canada Chiropractic at 230 Truck Stop in Woodstock, Ont. He can be reached at 888-252-7327, or email TCC@transcanadachiropractic.com