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  • Beth Miller, DPT

Exercising in San Diego


For many, beginning an exercise program seems just as daunting at quitting smoking or remembering to pay your taxes on time. If you are an individual that doesn’t exercise regularly, the thought of beginning a routine can be challenging on various levels with varying excuses to avoid the actual task of exercising. Some issues related to beginning an exercise routine can stem from a childhood where exercise was not emphasized on a daily routine. It can also be challenging if you have no idea where to start or who to guide you. It can be hard to incorporate something as important to life as breathing in your daily routine if that something just doesn’t feel that natural.

The first step to beginning an exercise program without fear of failure is to talk to someone about it. If you mention the idea out loud to another human being, the idea becomes reality and the accountability factor has been established. It will be harder to give up and disappoint yourself when you know other people are rooting for you and following your progress. It is important to understand that if you fail and let yourself down that you must get back up and begin again.

As a physical therapist it may seem like it would be easy to pick up a routine and stick with it, since exercise is part of my job description. I demonstrate exercises and work on various body parts all day long, sometimes working up a sweat that contribute to many evenings where I would give my entire paycheck to have someone massage my feet.

For me, I have participated actively in sports my entire life, but when the season ended so did my exercise routine. As I got older, the activity level declined gradually with a long hike here and there or an adventurous kayaking tour on the random vacation. Many attempts were made working with a personal trainer with minimal commitment issues. But if I were to jump out of bed in the morning, the first thing on my mind was not to go for a long walk, it was coffee. If I wasn’t pushed into the activity or bribed to complete it, I wasn’t going to volunteer my time to sweat and feel disgusting. I have to continue to tell myself that there is no better time than right now to begin to exercise. Even if this is my 37th attempt to begin yet another exercise routine, I still find myself attempting to make something of a “routine” as much as I possibly can.

I recently stumbled upon a few guidelines for beginning an exercise routine if you are unsure how or where to begin. The Mayo clinic has devised a plan to get you started using 5 simple steps:

1) Assess your fitness level- using scales or speaking with a medical professional 2) Design your fitness program- using resources such as a physical therapist or certified personal trainer 3) Assemble your equipment- take stock in what you already own 4) Get started- start slow and progress gradually 5) Monitor your progress- use a friend or phone application designed to keep track

The most important thing to remember is, no one is perfect. You must be forgiving of yourself if things don’t turn out the way you think they should. Listen to your body. If you’re not sure of sometime, ask someone to help. A lot of people find comfort in exercising with a friend or in a group. Motivation is easier to come by if you have support.

Link to more details from the Mayo clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20048269?pg=1

#Exercise #Routine

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