Exercise is a crucial part of your transformation into a #HealthyNewYou. You’re committed to making exercise a part of your routine, but with all of the different exercise methods and classes out there, where do you begin?
Think about what you want from your exercise routine. Sure, you want to get healthy and manage your weight, but what are your other needs or concerns? Those needs and concerns can help guide you to the exercise that is right for you. Consider these situations below. Do any of them apply to you? You might even find them all useful at different times, depending on what you are doing. Give these exercises a try, and see what works for you. And remember, if you have health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, or arthritis, always check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness routine.
If you want to focus on relieving your back pain: Gentle stretches and exercises
You might be inclined to avoid physical activity if back pain is a problem for you, but believe it or not, the right activities can actually help improve your pain. Gentle stretching of the neck, shoulders, back, hips, glutes, and hamstrings helps to loosen up the tight muscles contributing to your back pain. Combine those stretches with core strengthening and low-impact cardio, and you’re well on your way to getting healthier and improving your back pain. Also, keep in mind that some exercises can make your back pain worse, so avoid anything that leaves you in pain.
If weather conditions keep you in the house: Indoor exercises
Whether it’s too hot or cold, raining, snowing, or sleeting, you don’t have to let the weather ruin your fitness routine. There are a number of indoor activities you can do that are just as effective as your normal outdoor routine. Try a class, or get on the elliptical machine or stationary bike at the gym. Some gyms also have indoor tracks and pools so you can bring your normal outdoor routine inside. Stretching and strength training can be done whether you’re indoors or outdoors, so that is a great option as well. As an added bonus, these exercises can also help you with back pain.
If you’re busy or travel often: Do-anywhere exercises
“I’m too busy!” and “I’m never home!” are common complaints among people who struggle to maintain a regular exercise routine. You don’t have to let travel or a busy schedule interfere with your fitness goals; you just have to be more creative with how you use the little time that you have. The key is do-anywhere exercises that focus on multiple muscle groups at a time. All you need is a little floor (or wall) space and a few minutes of free time, and you’re all set! Core strength is at the center of many of these moves, which can also help improve your posture.
If you’re looking to increase flexibility and relaxation: Yoga
Yoga provides several health and fitness benefits. It helps to increase your flexibility and strengthen your core, thereby improving your posture and balance and increasing your range of motion. Yoga is also great if you are looking for low-impact, gentle exercise. There are several different types of yoga, so you can try different kinds to find the one that is the best fit for you. Although yoga was once more popular with women, men are seeing the benefits too; yoga is becoming popular among male athletes, who find that it helps to improve their balance and muscle function. Whether you use an at-home DVD or work with an instructor, yoga is worth a try.
There are lots of exercise options that can help you on your way to a #HealthyNewYou. Don’t feel as though you have to stick to one type. Mix it up if you want to, and do what works best for you.
Join me in my #HealthyNewYou challenge and make the changes you need to get healthy! Follow me on Twitter @GleiberMD for tips, and feel free to tweet me with any questions. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #HealthyNewYou! I’ve got your back!