Wellness Wednesday: Exercise Specs

Today’s post will keep it simple, portraying just a few simple keys to successful exercise. With the books, shows and classes out there, it is easy to get confused about what you need to do to start getting fit. My simple reminders will hopefully bring it down to earth and help you get started or stay consistent with your exercise regimen. 

Accept your present state.

Back in the day, in some challenging yoga classes, I was, at once, encouraged to master harder and harder poses, but, somewhat paradoxically, I was taught be “ be where I am”. This mean I had to be real about what I could actually do properly at the present moment. I was not to fight or strain my way into a new pose. I was to practice as best I could until it came naturally. This was a very hard concept to grasp. 

At the same time, I want you to embark on exercise in a spirit of happy acceptance. Whatever you do is a plus. You should not make it hard, or certainly not painful. When beginning, it should just feel like mild exhilaration. It should not exhaust you. You are just letting your body and brain get used to the movements and the routine. It takes months to adjust. You will advance in intensity when you want to. You will want to when you are ready. 

Start easy and short.

Research I mentioned on this last Medical Monday indicated that 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week has measurable effects on heart disease risk in women. This translates into 25 minutes a day 6 days a week. It is true that some fit people exercise for longer for fewer days per week. However I prefer beginners and the inconsistent to workout for less time more frequently since it reinforces the habit more effectively. 

Value initiation over endurance.

Woody Allen once side that 80% of life is showing up. This is certainly true of exercise. You can make things easier on yourself by observing a fairly steady routine. Remember Mr. Rogers ? On his TV program he would arrive home from work and immediately change from his work jacket to his house sweater, thereby prompting him to shift gears and relax. Me, I change into workout gear and somehow there is no going back. Next I get the glass of water, and off I go. Get yourself to start, and you will finish. 



Take one break day per week.

Exercise is to transform your body so that it is healthier, more efficient, stronger and more functional. So give it some time to transform. Never skip your break day. And if you are feeling wiped out, take an extra break day or just choose a milder workout. Having said that, ordinary everyday fatigue should not prevent you from working out. Your exercise will actually help your fatigue, ten times out of ten. If you are feeling overly fatigued after what feels like a mild workout, check in with your doctor. Additionally you should make sure you are giving your body adequate hydration and nutritional support to transform. 


Stay tuned next week for more Wellness Wednesday tips.