How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise

Why Your Body Is Already Willing And Able To Make The Transition To A More Active Lifestyle

By Jeffrey Rothman, MA, OTR
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This first month that you begin to exercise, while vitally important as a basis to your ongoing lifestyle change, is not yet imprinted in you. Your body is not sure if this is a transient moment, or a fundamental change.It is straddling the fence between energy conservation and vitality.

After you have completed the month, your body will understand that it is under new circumstances and that it needs to be ready.
Where to Start, Use What You Have

You probably have some old fitness plan, device, or gym membership that you don't use. Good, I don't particularly want you to look for something new. Changing your lifestyle is not about the product, the place or even the methods of your exercise.

If you have an old video, dust it off, if you have a gym membership, find your ID card, if you have an abdominizer, gazelle, treadmill, stepper, glider, whatever, pull it out of the closet. It is important to understand, that your success does not reside in the form of the exercise that you do.

For the most part, the products that are sold on the Home Shopping Network or at Sports Authority or wherever are adequately designed and tested to perform their task. Your gym likely has more options than you would ever consider trying, and for certain, there are an infinite number of classes and videos available. As far as I am concerned, choosing amongst them is like picking a color for your new car. Just choose one and drive.
The Plan:

  • Week 1:
  • -15 minutes of exercise each day (rest included if appropriate).
-Minimum of two types of workouts alternating days. So, don't do 15 minutes of push-ups or 15 minutes of climbing stairs multiple days in a row.

-Do not work to exhaustion or until you are out of breath, however, do work. For instance, if you already have days where you are on your feet walking for 15 minutes, then a 15 minute walk would not count for you as a workout, you would need to pick up the pace a bit, sweat.

-Do something that you like. I got a workout last week trying to fly a kite with my son.

-Do something convenient (stairs or hills in your neighborhood are good).

-Drink water before and after.

-If you miss a day, come back the next day.

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Jeffrey Rothman is an Occupational Therapist, practicing in West Palm Beach Florida. Jeffrey assists people to return to their productive lives after illnesses, injuries, and surgeries. He takes a particular interest in shoulder rehabilitation, pain management.  Please email Jeffrey;  he welcomes your comments and questions. 

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