May 2013 Newsletter – How to get FIT

Starting a Fitness Program can be challenging, but once your going it’s a pleasure.

Woman smiling

The options are for exercise are endless but it has to start with a desire to change and a realistic plan on how to do so.

Establishing an exercise routine is often the hardest part of it. The routine has to be simple, convenient and target your goals. Exercise that is social generally has better retention rates and enjoyment levels.

The simplest way to start exercising is walking, just put on a pair of comfortable shoes or runners and off you go. Try to walk for about half an hour. Consider a circuit of the neighbourhood you’d like to complete and invite a friend to walk with you if you can.

If you don’t want to walk, consider exercise classes, swimming, bike riding, pilates or a sport you enjoy.

Start off slowly and gradually increase as you gain fitness. Ultimately, remember your body needs to work to gain a benefit and there are many ways to “work” different components of your fitness.

If you can’t commit to a single block of 30 minutes, it’s okay to divide the time into smaller amounts. In fact you can get a good workout from a fast, short walk.

You should seriously consider strength (resistance) training once a week also. Musculoskeletal (muscles and skeleton) strength helps improve muscle and bone health, reduces risk of osteoporosis, improves postural stability and contributes to a reduction in the risk of falls and associated age related complaints such as poor balance, weakness, frailty etc that have long term consequences the older you get. It also helps cardiovascular complaints and other chronic diseases such as diabetes.

To start with you can do push-ups (from your knees, then feet) and leg squats at home. You can start with just one and build up over time. But persevere each day and you’ll likely find yourself improving quickly. Consider progressing to a gym or buy some dumbells for home and get advice from a Physiotherapist who can help design an effective program.

Keep a track of what you are doing so you can watch yourself improve over time and get the satisfaction of knowing its helping. Generally speaking you wont notice an improvement in body shape as this happens quite slowly over time. BUT if you want to see improvements take photos and measurements and watch them change.

Having a good diet will speed things up also.