Getting started on a path to physical well-being, especially
when you are taking those first steps with chronic pain
or illness requires a three-fold psychological ploy. I call
that you are not now, nor may you ever be, an elite
or even competent athlete.
Realize that you improve with
every new step you add to your usual agenda.
Take time to take the time
the place from which you begin your new venture, you can
take pride, and perhaps joy, from the small steps you make
toward improving your physical well-being. With small, short-term
goals, success is more readily achieved, and “fit
Begin your cardiovascular training by committing to one
10-minute walk or other aerobic activity such as cycling,
swimming, or even yard work each and every day. Get your
printable weekly exercise log here.
Each week thereafter, add one minute to your routine. When
you get to one 20-minute walk, break it up into two 10-minute
walks a day. Again, add one minute to each walk. When you
can comfortably do two 20-minute walks each day, and the
habit is fully engrained – you’ve been doing
it now for over 20 weeks – try one 30-minute walk
each day. Depending on how you are feeling, you may wish
to continue adding time to your walks. Or you could raise
the intensity by walking the same distance in a shorter
period of time. Regardless you have a lot to celebrate.
This! for more helpful ideas to get started exercising.
In a couple of months, I’ll be giving some tips about
how you can introduce strength training to your routine.
So check back often.
Irv Rubenstein, exercise physiologist and nationally-certified
personal trainer, is founder and president of S.T.E.P.S.,
Inc., Nashville’s first personal training center.
Author and contributor to professional and lay fitness literature,
Dr. Irv also presents continuing education training seminars
for personal trainers and other fitness professionals for
Exercise ETC, Inc. and Dr. Irv Fitness. He can be reached