Make exercise part of your daily life

August 21, 2013 

Exercise, exercise, exercise! I have started an exercise program. That’s the easy part. The hard part is sticking with the exercise program. It’s challenging to make myself exercise, but my motivation is to have a healthy heart.

So here’s the deal: physical activity has many benefits for your health. Have you ever heard the saying “six degrees of separation?” Exercise is like six degrees of separation to good health. Exercise is the natural answer to maintaining good health.

Exercise can help you accomplish the following: lower your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, weight and risk of cardiovascular disease.

Live Healthy Georgia (www.livehealthygeorgia.org) says regular, moderate physical activity (30 minutes total at least five days per week) can help you live longer and improve your health, fitness and overall quality of life.

The challenging part is making exercise a part of your daily life for the rest of your life. It can be done.

I am sure we have all started exercise programs and stopped. I was talking to my friend Chanda Akles, who is a personal fitness trainer and Zumba fitness instructor. She said exercise is a necessity that should be based on your lifestyle and personality.

Akles said exercise should be like the difference between a job or a career, something you enjoy. She said when you start seeing positive results, you will get a major sense of excitement.

Akles said that just as people are excited about eating a favorite meal, a favorite exercise program should be equally exciting.

It’s important to have a variety of physical activity, so you don’t get bored with exercising. I like to bike, spin or walk. Biking allows me to enjoy the outdoors. Spinning is a group of people riding on stationary bikes, while an instructor illustrates a scenic route complete with flat roads and hills.

Of course walking is self-explanatory. You can walk at the mall. You can walk outside in your neighborhood. You can walk on a track. You can walk at a nearby school. You can walk at the park. You can walk at a gym. You can walk at work. It makes me think of the scene in “Forrest Gump” in which Bubba is talking about all the ways to cook shrimp.

If you are ready to begin a physical activity program, see a doctor before you start exercising. Make sure a health care provider clears you to participate in physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, start your physical activity slowly once you are cleared by a health care provider.

Gradually build up your exercise program to prevent injury. Walking is usually a safe exercise for most people. Trainers are available at fitness centers, and exercise groups or classes may be available at work or even the nearest hospital in your area or a church. Whether the choice is to have a trainer, join a gym or group, or just start walking on your own, stick with it. Don’t give up! Before you know it you will feel better and have more energy.

At the end of the day, it’s your walk -- no pun intended. Now get started once a doctor clears you to exercise. I have!

Dairlyn Brown is a registered nurse and CEO of SRT Professional Services LLC in Warner Robins.

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