Spring into fitness
Bariatric dietitian Gina Goodwin, RD, offers some tips for getting back on track with exercise after winter.
It’s time to say goodbye to old man winter. The days are getting longer and hopefully warmer. It’s time to get out and move!
Reasons to exercise
- Achieve and maintain goal weight
- Build muscle tissue
- Increase metabolism, strength and endurance
- Increase energy, flexibility and mobility
- Improve mood, self-esteem and memory
- Decrease stress, depression and anxiety
- Promote sleep, energy level and healing
- Lower blood pressure and blood sugar
- Improve cholesterol and heart and lung function
- Strengthen bones and reduce bone loss
- Reduce joint stiffness and improve posture
- Increase life expectancy
Make a plan
- Choose a location– such as home, office, gym, park, mall, school
- Choose a time of day– such as before work, lunch time, after work, evenings or combination
- Choose an exercise– a class, home exercise machine, gym exercise machines, personal trainer, walking program, swimming (whatever type you will enjoy)
Implement your plan
- Make a commitment and set a date
- Start slow, pace yourself and progress as tolerated
- Stay consistent
- Journal your daily exercise (time/place/type)
- Monitor your progress and recognize your achievements
Excuses - busted!
- Energy—Remember that increased energy is one of the benefits of exercise. Even a 10 minute walk increases energy for a couple of hours. If you are feeling tired or sluggish, get up and take a walk.
- Time—You don’t have to commit to an hour at the gym each day. If time is a problem, try breaking your work out into 3 or 4 ten minute sessions throughout the day.
- Fear—Do you worry that everyone else at the gym is looking at you? Or maybe that you don’t know anything about the exercise equipment? Lean about the equipment ahead of time, hire a personal trainer or join a beginner class. You will not be the only newbie!
- Expense—Exercise need not be expensive. It can be, for sure, but doesn’t have to be. If you can’t or don’t want to join a gym or sing up for a class, you don't need to. There are exercise programs on TV. You can buy or rent a DVD. Check out yard sales for exercise equipment to have at home or work. Exercise balls, weights and resistance bands are fairly inexpensive.
- Priority—If you wait until you can ‘find the time’, it may never happen. We will always find something more important to do. Make exercise important. Put it on your daily calendar and consider it an appointment for your health.
- Not in the mood—Read the list of benefits-improved mood is one of them. If you’ve gotten up in a bad mood or had a bad day, exercise might be just the therapy you need to brighten your mood.
- Too old—Exercise builds strong bones and improves hear and lung function– at any age!
What's your plan?
Share your spring-time fitness tips on our bariatric Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you!