Updated: Jun 15
Dear reader One of the ways I take good care of myself is with regular exercise. We Shape, an online exercise membership program, is one of my resources. Recently they shared 10 long emails with 1 step each for exercise success. I summarize here to inspire and motivate you to take the necessary steps for exercise success in your life. Step 1: Understanding why it’s important. The Big Why! Why is it important for you to exercise? Find a deep one. My mother at 90 has lost 2 of her children already. It’s said there is no greater pain than to outlive your children. One of my deep Why’s is to outlive my mother. I don’t want to cause her that pain again. And I know that keeping strong muscle mass with exercise is a powerful way to stay healthier as I age. As a matter of fact, loss of muscle mass, called sarcopenia, is one of the greatest predictors of impending death. Step 2: The physical benefits you will gain. So, what are these: better balance decreasing the risk of bone fracture as you age. Better sleep. Stronger immune systems. Improved circulation and heart function. Better digestion and elimination. Improved mental function. Is that enough to get you motivated to start or continue a regular exercise program to enjoy these fantastic health benefits?? Step 3: The mental benefits you will gain. Exercise helps you mentally in many ways. Improved circulation helps eliminate toxins that may damage your brain as well as provide ongoing nutrition for your hungry brain that never shuts off completely until it is all over for you in this body. When you exercise if not too heavy you are bringing more oxygen to all of your cells increasing the metabolic work of your brain. Exercise increases the number of mitochondria in your cells increasing energy output for sharper focus and thinking. Step 4: Find your why. Sometimes it’s difficult to start. If you use the old Nike inspiration, “Just do it!” you will in time find your why. One of my patients said it was easy to get her husband to take supplements because he felt better when he took them. You will find the same if you choose to make exercise a regular part of your life. Step 5: Find what works for you. This is really important. I love to dance. And I dance longer than I would do other types of exercise because I love to move that way. What kind of movement gives you joy? If none go back to steps 1 and 4 to find another Why to get and keep you going. There are so many options. Some of my patients have found free exercise programs on YouTube that made them feel good. Here’s one I use to strengthen my core while having dancing fun Step 6: Staying motivated. Here you go back to your Why. Some find they exercise better in a class or if they have a friend they can work out or just take a walk together. You might ask Siri, “Why should I exercise?" “Or what can I do to stay motivated?” and see what help you find there. Or maybe an online search for the benefits of exercise is what you need.
Step 7: Preventing Injury. Most people get injured when they first begin an exercise program; when they stop and start again; or when they increase their exercise difficulty. The solution is to take it easy and do less than you think you can to avoid injury. When you stop and start again cut everything in half: half the time, half the intensity, half the weight or distance and gradually build up from there. And when you increase the difficulty add a little at a time. You don’t want to take 2 steps forward and then one step back. It's demotivating to get injured from working out so be gradual and kind to yourself. Work out because you love yourself not for punishment.
Step 8: Monitoring your progress. Accountability can be a great tool to keep you interested and motivated. Some have FitBit type of devices or apps that count their steps, heart rate, etc. If gadgets turn you on invest or find free ones to keep track of your progress. Or an Excel spreadsheet might do the trick. Steven Covey said to put the "Big Rocks”, those most important “To Do’s” in your calendar first. If spending time on your health is not one of your “Big Rocks" I encourage self-reflection to find out why not? And I further encourage you to get over it and take better care of yourself.
Step 9: Challenging yourself. Take it easy here. Be kind to yourself. Step 10: Overcoming plateaus. The best way to overcome a plateau if you’re not reaching your workout goals is to change it up. Find a different way, time, class or friend to spend your exercise time with. If you need help figuring this important part of your life out schedule a 15-minute appointment with me here.
Here’s to your Best Health! Dr. Linda
FUN FACT. The smallest muscles in the body are in your inner ear. They include the tensor tympani and the stapedius. They connect to your eardrum and hold your inner ear together. The smallest bones in the body are also in your ear.
Dr. Linda Berry Healing Arts Chiropractic Nutrition Trauma Healing Please note: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical care. Always consult with your healthcare provider for advice before you begin taking new supplements. You are responsible for all of the health choices you make.