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Start an exercise program to keep healthy and save money.

Posted Jul 31 2009 11:40am

Now that the weather is starting to warm up people are motivated, start an exercise program and end up in my office or some other health care provider. While I am happy to help them with their problem, it is only right that we discuss ways to avoid coming to the doctor with injuries.

Staying healthy saves you money because you don’t have to pay co-pays, buy drugs and countless other costs.  Any time you take an extended period off from an exercise routine, your muscles get “lazy”. They lose strength, elasticity, you get out of shape. Of course the first question is “how do you define an extended period of time”? That answer is different for every body. It could be two weeks, could be two months. The only way to know is to return to the previous program with caution. If you have exercised before and have a routine that you are comfortable with, return to the program at 50% reduction. So if you lift weights, reduce your weights by 50%. Then as you continue and you are not aware of any pain, gradually increase your resistance. Within 2 weeks you should be back to your previous level of exertion. If you have muscle soreness, slow down your increase or work out every other day to let the muscles heal. Pain means small muscle fibers have actually torn. This in small amount stimulates muscles to grow and get harder which is what you want. Extreme pain means more extensive injury.

If you want to start a new  exercise program, even greater care should be taken. Click on the link to my website on the right and watch the video with my personal trainer discuss exercise programs.  First make sure you are healthy enough to start a routine. A visit to your primary doctor can avoid bigger issues. Then, again start slowly. If possible work with a trainer initially so you safely learn what your limitations are and how to properly perform the exercises you want to do. Many times people start to work out the muscles that they can see. Men (sorry guys) tend to lift weight to increase the size of their chest and biceps muscles and forget about the other muscles needed to balance their spine. A trainer will develop a routine to address all the muscle groups. If you don’t work out properly you will end up in my office or another provider and your exercise routine will be put on hold. Then you have to start all over again.

The easiest exercise to do is walking. It can be done any time, any place, all you need is a good pair of shoes. If the weather is bad, walk in the mall. I don’t mean window shop, walk briskly, get your heart rate up. You will know if you are exercising at a good level if you are breathing harder but can still carry on a conversation. Other good exercises is swimming (good resistance) and bicycling (uses large muscle groups). What every you decide to do, GO DO IT! It is good for you. Your stress will reduce and you will look better.

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