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Why Plan B Is So Important When You Exercise

By Sandy Schroeder

If you have a strong exercise routine, you may feel pretty good about your health efforts, but doctors and scientists are warning of the dangers of time off. Taking a few extra days out from your regular health routine may be more serious than it seems, according to researchers.

In a recent study presented at the annual European Congress on Obesity, researchers studied 28 healthy adults who were doing 10,000 steps a day, until their activity level was cut by 80 percent for two weeks.

During the two weeks they averaged about 1,500 steps per day and kept their usual diet. The metabolic changes that occurred put this group at risk for diabetes and other serious diseases.

The adults lost some muscle mass and gained abdominal fat, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Have a Plan B

If your exercise program is interrupted, be sure to have a backup plan to stay active. People who travel can arrange for hotels with gyms, pack a yoga mat, or simply walk wherever they land.

If you find yourself stuck in a major work effort that requires extra hours from everyone, you might invest in a home treadmill or exercise bike. Or you could get up an hour early to do a walk or run before you start work.

If you have an injury such as a sprained ankle that sidelines you, you can begin physical therapy as you heal, working your way back into your regular routines.

Whatever the situation, do your best to keep your exercise routine active. Be creative.

Making Goals Happen

The goal to consider, with your doctor’s approval, is 10,000 steps daily, along with 20 minutes of aerobics three times a week. Ideally, you would add a few 30-minute strength-building sessions too. You may have to work your way up to this routine.

Swinging back into your routine may seem simple, but as we all know, procrastination can be a great temptation. A couple times I have been doing well with a regular exercise routine, only to have to leave town to tend to a crisis. A few weeks later when I returned, it took quite an effort to fire up that routine again. 

So if you have a good thing going in exercise, do whatever it takes to keep it going and be glad you have it. As always, check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chula Vista, Calif.

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