A couple of people have commented that my previous blog about how to start an exercise routine (called Does Thinking about Exercise Burn Calories?) was a little cryptic. Or perhaps even a little demented (or were they talking about me?)
Anyway... to review, I gave you 8 tips for how to select and start an exercise routine. They were:
TIP #1: DON’T CHOOSE DODGEBALL!
TIP #2: DON’T STUFF CHOPSTICKS UP YOUR NOSE!!!
TIP #3: DON’T RUN ON THE MOON!
TIP #4: MAKE SURE YOU WEAR YOUR BEST SPEEDO!
TIP #5: DON’T BORROW YOUR KID’S TRICYCLE!
TIP #6: WIMP OUT!
TIP #7: WIMP OUT AGAIN!!!
TIP #8: PIG OUT!
What’s so cryptic about them?
Well... okay. I guess you’re right. I’ll start taking my anti-rabies medication again.
In the meantime, here is another attempt at exercise tips for those of you who’d like something a little easier to remember and a wee bit less psychotic.
The tip is EXERCISE!
Or should I say E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E!
Here it is:
E stands for ENJOY IT. Pick some exercise you think you’ll enjoy, because the more you do, the more likely you will stick with it.
X stands for CROSS OUT (e.g., X out) all exercise that’s high contact (e.g., punching, pounding, pulverizing, etc.) And for most, this includes running because of the invariable pounding of feet against pavement. Mind you, if you still want to run, a treadmill is probably easier on you. Mind you, I haven’t seen many people with fibro start up running. Mind you, who the heck ever tells me anything?
Nevertheless... swimming, gentle aerobics, walking, pool exercises – these all make more sense to me.
E stands for EASY TO GET TO. In other words, choose an exercise that is not inconvenient for you to do... e.g., something you can do at home or at least in the neighbourhood, or maybe something you can do with family or friends to coordinate rides, etc.
R stands for READY YOURSELF, in terms of having good shoes to wear and comfortable clothes to exercise in. (And if that includes a Speedo... so be it.)
C stands for CHECK THE CALENDER (or conditions). In other words, don’t start a big outdoor walking routine in September if you live in northern Minnesota or Manitoba, because minus 40 degree temperatures are soon going to nip your exercise routine in the bud (or give you frostbite on your b---).
I stands for INITIATE SMALL. In other words, start your exercise routine with a miniscule amount, like 5 minutes of aerobics, or one lap of swimming, or a quarter block walk. I’ve even told people to start their exercise routine just by changing into their exercise clothes and then sitting down to think about exercise... for the first three weeks until getting ready to exercise itself has become a habit. Then, once that habit is down, actually start the exercise you intend to do.
S stands for SLOW GOES IT! In other words, once you’ve started exercising, don’t increase the amount you do too quickly. For example, if you’ve started by walking just to the end of your block and back 5 days a week, continue doing this for 2-3 weeks BEFORE pushing yourself to walk a little bit further. SLO-O-O-O-O-LY increase your exercise over weeks and months. You’re not training for the Fibro Olympics here.
E stands for ENJOY EACH SUCCESS. Celebrate each milestone, whether it’s with your favourite dessert, or splurging to rent and watch a video or go to a movie you’ve wanted to see, or anything involving someone ELSE in a Speedo!.
So again, that’s
Enjoy the exercise
X out contact exercises
Ensure your exercise is Easy to get to.
Ready yourself, clothing and equipment wise
Check the Calender
Initiate exercise with a very small amount
Slowly increase the amount you do
Enjoy your success.
T-H T-H T-H T-H-A-T-S A-L-L F-O-L-K-S!
Kevin White, MD, PhD
award-winning author, researcher, speaker and all-around NUT!