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The Building Blocks Of Exercise

Winnipeg Free Press Nancy Heinrichs 2017-05-05 17:17:49

  Most people say they want to be more physically active, but common barriers such as time, energy, and lack of self-confidence get in the way of incorporating exercise into daily life.

  Changing your mindset is one of the most important things you can do when looking to incorporate more activity into your life. Think of yourself as someone who is becoming physically active and not someone who is overweight or too busy to exercise . If you step out of your comfort zone, you will amaze yourself with your capabilities.

  Forget about all the intense infomercial exercise plans and get back to the basics of simple movement. Reality shows like The Biggest Loser can be inspirational, but depicts a stereotype that exercise has to be intense.

  The goal is to make physical activity a part of your life, not your whole life. Overhauling your entire lifestyle will only lead to exhaustion, burnout, and frustration. It is OK to start small, such as using a dumbbell exercise for 5 minutes or going for a 10-minute walk each day .

  Over time, you can gradually increase the distance and intensity of your chosen activity. Listen to your body and identify if anything is sore. Feel your heart rate—what is your breathing like? If you’re diabetic, understanding what low blood sugar feels like and how to manage it is important as you increase your physical activity.

  As you continue to strength exercise, consider including resistance exercise as a part of your routine. Losing your strength not only hinders your mobility and your ability to do everyday tasks, but it can also put you at risk to develop chronic diseases over time such as diabetes as you shed muscle from inactivity and start to add fat onto your body.

  Challenge your muscles with body weight exercises or resistance bands, then work up to lifting weights. Every exercise can be modified to increase or reduce difficulty, and many exercises can be done from a chair. Resources like the Canadian Diabetes website on resistance exercise is a great starting point for any beginner.

  And finally, recognize that opportunities for physical activity are everywhere. Explore your neighbourhood and go for a walk. Do small exercises while you watch the 6 p.m. news.

  Pick a far parking spot and walk to the store. For busy moms, make your kids a part of your exercise. Small children are the best weights that money can buy.

  It is important to note that being sore is natural, it happens to everyone as they exercise and it will pass. However, if a particular movement causes increased pain or you feel dizzy, stop doing the exercise and consult a professional.

  Be proud of what you can do and recognize the small accomplishments you make. It is important to remember you are looking to improve over time. Even small changes are improvements towards a healthier you .