How to Get Back Into Shape
By Sandy Schroeder
Sometimes downtime happens as we travel, or when we work through an injury. Then we may have to find our way to get back in shape. Checking in with the doctor is the first step. Then with the doctor’s approval, you can pick some easy ways to get back into a normal groove.
Start by moving more – Instead of collapsing in front of the computer or TV, use your free time to clean out a closet, or reclaim your garden.
Begin walking daily – Keep it brief as you walk around your neighborhood or local park. As you feel more comfortable, you can join a walking group or consider a wilderness hike.
Pick up a sport – Put the fun back in exercise with sports you enjoy. Shooting hoops, playing golf or tennis, or spending an afternoon on the water all work to help get back in shape.
Line up a fitness buddy – Pick your most active friend and find out what they are doing. You may wind up joining them to walk, jog, bike or run.
Discover slow moving yoga – If you have never tried it, talk with a yoga instructor first. Then consider a slow moving form of yoga that holds simple poses for longer periods of time. You can move at your own pace as your body becomes more limber.
Go dancing – People who love dancing never forget the fun of it. Take a dancing class, or simply start up where you left off with the dancing you enjoy.
Break out a bike – Start slowly. Pick quiet bike paths with no traffic. As you pick up speed and endurance, you may find yourself biking every weekend.
Spend time in the water – Swimming can be a totally flexible way to get back in shape. Warm water pools are great for people in pain who need to start moving move. It’s also calming and fun for the whole family.
Try tai chi – Watch a tai chi class to see if this “moving meditation” appeals to you. Classes are usually done outdoors. The simple swaying motions can be a gentle way for people with injuries to move more.
Develop your own fitness routine – Set aside a time each day to exercise. Start with simple stretching and strength exercises that are approved by your doctor. Keep building up the length and intensity.