Getting fit and staying that way is not impossible, but it’s not a breeze either – especially if you haven’t been working out regularly for years. Fortunately, people today are more aware and conscious about fitness, the need to exercise, and how it can benefit their overall health.
During this National Fitness and Sports month, let’s take a look at how you can get moving, be fit, and stay that way lifelong.
Some people are under the mistaken notion that fitness means expensive gym memberships or personal trainers, or that it’s too strenuous; but it doesn’t have to be like that at all. This is something you can do by yourself, and with a little help from the right experts, you can do it safely and more effectively.
Different Physical Activities You Can Do For Fitness
At EPIC Health, we advise our patients, who have never worked out at all previously, to start small – a daily walk, a swim, or a couple of rounds of cycling. Exercise should make you feel good, and not miserable. Start with 10 or 15 minutes, and gradually increase the time and intensity every few days till you are able to walk or swim for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Cardio exercises help you get your heart pumping, increase your endurance, and maintain a good heart health – walking, jogging, running, climbing stairs, aerobics, Zumba – these are all cardio workouts.
At EPIC Health, our in-house exercise physiologist will have a detailed discussion with you about your lifestyle, exercise habits, current health status, and your health goals. Based on this information, the exercise physiologist will create an exercise regimen for you that you can follow safely, with a very low risk of injury. You will get detailed guidance on incremental exercising, how to track your progress, and more.
It is also advisable to mix up your activities – a swim today, jogging tomorrow – so that you don’t get bored of the monotony.
Apart from cardio, you also need to do strength training – that is training with weights or resistance bands; our exercise physiologist at EPIC Health will help you plan your strength training exercises as well. These set of exercises will help you build muscle, strengthen bones, and help you be more energetic and effective in your daily activities.
Maintaining good posture and balance is as important as getting a cardio workout. Yoga and tai-chi are great for this purpose. Yoga also helps you control your breathing, and get more oxygen into your body. The stretches and poses help you keep your muscles supple, and improve your flexibility and your range of movement in your joints.
You can do all of these exercises by yourself at home – it’s all the more easy today as there are plenty of videos on the internet that can help you. If you don’t like working out alone, find a class nearby so that you can also socialize.
It is essential that you do some moderately intense physical activity every single day – if that is impossible, make sure you get a good workout at least 4 days in a week.
Incorporating Exercise into Your Everyday Life
Apart from having a workout regimen, you can make sure you get your exercise through these simple means:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever possible – if you have to go up about 10 floors, walk up 4 or 5 flights of stairs and then take an elevator
- Walk instead of taking the car if you only have to travel a short distance; if not, park the car a couple of blocks away, or farthest from the elevator or escalator, so that you have to walk that much more
- Do your household chores yourself, manually as far as possible, with minimal help from machines – dusting, mopping, sweeping, raking – these are all good exercises which will give your limbs a good workout
,and help you build muscle strength
- If your work is sedentary – you sit at a desk nearly the whole day, here is what you can do:
- Do stretches while you’re seated, or just standing in your place. You can stretch your necks, arms, and legs
- Do in-place jogging
- Walk up and down in your office every now and then
- Get up and walk up to the cooler, coffee machine, or stationeries supply rather than asking someone else to get it for you
- If you need to discuss something with a co-worker or boss, walk up to their desk/cubicle or cabin rather than contacting them through the office messenger
- Just walk about or do a jig in your house or yard, even as you’re doing chores like say cooking, doing the laundry, and so on – remember Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire and how he danced while vacuuming!
- Play with your kids or grandkids – you will be surprised how many calories you end up burning; if you have pets, especially dogs, play with them – running, playing catch, dancing – anything you have fun doing.
- When you’re talking on the phone, walk about, or at least stand, rather than sit or lie down comfortably
- Play video games that require physical activity like Nintendo Wii or PlayStation move
- Go to the mall and walk throughout the mall, taking the stairs everywhere – you’ll get an intense workout without even realizing it!
So you see, exercising can be fun and interesting in addition to being good for your health. As exercise physiology studies how exercise impacts your body, the exercise physiologist is the best person who can guide you regarding how much exercise you need, how much you can do safely, and what kind of activities you can and need to do on a daily or weekly basis.
At EPIC Health, we always urge our patients to get plenty of physical activity every single day. Our in-house exercise physiologist can help you understand the benefits of each type of exercise or activity and can create detailed, customized plans for you so that you can enjoy optimal health not just for now but throughout your life.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment to consult our exercise physiologist right away! We accept same-day appointments and walk-ins as well. We work 7 days a week for extended hours at our care centers in Detroit, Ferndale, and Southfield.