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Wise Ways to Keep an Exercise Plan Going

By Sandy Schroeder

We all do it. We start out with a flourish launching new exercise routines, and then gradually lag, sag, or stop altogether. If you recognize that pattern, Harvard Health has some better ideas to outsmart yourself to keep right on exercising.

Only half of the adults in the United States do 30 minutes of brisk walking or another workout five days a week.

These are the main reasons people do not exercise.

  • Their work does not allow enough time
  • They have fatigue, joint pain or a chronic health condition
  • They are caregivers for a spouse, seniors, children, or grandchildren

Discover What You Are Missing

People who do exercise daily quickly realize how much it does for their mind, body and spirit, and they stay with it to enjoy a healthy life as long as possible, according to Dr. Edward Phillips, Harvard Medical School.

If you want to make exercise a healthy daily habit, here are some ways to do it.

Add exercise to errands - Leave the car at home and walk or bike to do local errands to the bank, pharmacy or post office.

Do balance exercises anywhere - Practice standing on one leg while you brush your teeth, chop vegetables for dinner, or prepare lunches in the morning.

Expand your exercise times - To hit that goal of 30 minutes of walking per day, start out walking 10 minutes every day, or walk 20 minutes three days a week, whatever feels more comfortable. Gradually increase the length of time and number of days to reach your goal.

Keep moving - If you are on the phone, stand or walk around. If you are meeting with a group, go for a walk as you talk. If you are waiting to pick someone up, walk around the parking lot. Make walking more appealing with earphones or a headset for audiobooks or podcasts.

Park in the back - Whenever you drive to work or to shop, add steps by parking in the back of the lot.

Make walking part of lunch - Pack a healthy lunch and use 30 minutes of your time to walk.

How to Exercise with Physical Limitations

Having some physical limitations is no excuse; you can still exercise and get its benefits.

Make the right choices - Movement helps reduce pain if you make wise choices, according to Dr. Philips. For joint pain in knees, hips or ankles, choose exercises without weights such as swimming or water aerobics or low-impact exercise bikes or elliptical machines.

Provide good support - Strengthen the muscles that support your joints to ease the pain. Your chiropractor, physical therapist, or personal trainer can help you pick the best exercises.

Build an exercise plan that you enjoy and then just keep expanding it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Windermere, Fla.

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