The Right Kind of Exercise

What should I do?  The perfect type of exercise is whatever you will do consistently.  A single exercise session per year does literally nothing.  Regular exercise gives us the greatest benefit.  Most people who lose weight and subsequently keep it off are regular exercisers; walking is the commonest type of exercise.  There is nothing wrong with walking as exercise, and there is much right with it.  It requires no special equipment and no gym membership.

When should I exercise?  Whenever you will.  The time of day isn’t so important.  Exercise early in your day burns a few more calories per minute than exercise later in the day.  A missed exercise session burns no calories at all.  Once again the goal is consistency.  Try to exercise every day.  Exercising regularly is much more important than what you do or when you do it.

I don’t have time.  Yes, you do.  You just use it for other things.  Start with short sessions of ten to fifteen minutes a few days per week.  All that is required is body weight, gravity and commitment.   Take a walk, do floor exercises, use resistance bands, watch a video, play on the floor with your kids.  Just do something, and keep doing it.  Set short-term goals and build gradually toward your long-term goals.

Establish a routine.  The ideal exercise routine would be some form of aerobic exercise most days and strength training a few days per week.  If you need to work on flexibility or balance, perhaps add yoga or something similar.  You should work out for a total of about an hour per day, five to six days per week.  Do this week after week for the rest of your life.  You’re likely to live longer if you do.

 

–Allen Chapman, PA-C

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