drug prescription

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Caution! Regular Exercise Can Be Habit Forming

These days everything in a bottle has a warning label, directions for proper use, and possible side effects. Exercise can’t possibly come in a bottle (although many fortune seekers try to sell you the latest scam in a very prescription-like bottle), but what if it did? What would the label say?  My recommended dosage looks like this:
  • For best results use three to five times per week for a minimum of 20 minutes per day.  Efforts must be consistent, week in and week out, for results to show and stay.
  • The proper dose of cardiovascular exercise and strength training are a must. Everyone, once cleared by a doctor to exercise, should participate in two to three strength training sessions per week. These sessions should combine working the major muscles of the upper, lower and core areas of the body. Always rest 48 hours between sessions.
  • To promote weight loss and heart and lung health, cardiovascular exercise should be performed three to five times per week for at least 20 minutes per session. Most cardio efforts should be done at a moderate pace. You should be able to hold a conversation while exercising, but if you can belt out a show tune you need to work a little harder. One day a week, spice it up with faster-paced intervals. This will rev up your calorie burning.
  • Increasing the dosage. Follow the golden rule: never add more than 10 percent per week in time or distance. To keep yourself on track, keep a journal. Each week try to add a little distance or time to one of your cardio sessions.  You will burn more calories and become more fit.
  • Increase your strength training sessions every fifth workout. The body needs to repeat something four times before it creates muscle memory. Every other week add either 10 percent more weight or two more repetitions to each set, but never add weight and reps at the same time.
  • In sickness and in health? A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you are sick from the chest down, rest instead of working out. Fever? Rest. Tummy trouble? Rest. If you can’t keep the proper amounts of fluids and calories in, then skip the workouts until you can. Common cold? Most of us can make it through a good workout with a cold, but you can ease up a bit on the intensity. Regular exercise should make your immune system stronger. Listen to your body.
  • Miss a dose? Didn’t get in those workouts last week? Don’t try to make them up this week – it’s impossible way to catch up on missed workouts. Instead, commit to the workouts scheduled this week, the next and the next.
  • Can become habit forming.  The experts tell us it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Actually, it takes 21 focused days to make or break the habit. Working out three times over 21 days, doesn’t a habit make. Only count the days that you actually exercised. If you are working out four times a week, it will take you five weeks to make it a habit.
  • Side effects. Regular exercise and healthy eating will make you feel better, increase your confidence, leave you more energized at the end of the day, release endorphins into your system, speed up your metabolism, strengthen your bones, your body and your mind, make you a good role model, help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your number of doctors visits per year, fight off disease and slow the aging process. Take one per day, five days per week and in 27 days you’ll be hooked.
Chrissy Ursetta, CPT, M.A. ED, is a Laveen resident and the owner and instructor of the local StrollerFit, Exercise with Your Baby. For more information about classes visit www.strollerfit.com/phoenix/southwest or call 602-312-5389.  The content provided in this column is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, consultation, treatment or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition before beginning a new exercise and nutrition regimen.      

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