Monday, March 3, 2014

Couch Potato to Yard Work After this Fun St. Louis Winter

This winter has impacted all of us in many ways as we hunkered down to avoid the cold.  We nested, we ate and we avoided exercise because it was just too cold.  Granted, there are a few devoted souls out there that weathered the elements to workout but the majority of us enjoyed the nesting.  

It is time before we begin the yard work, sports and summer activities to get our bodies back in shape and our minds in a “fit” direction.

So how to achieve the goals of a healthy mind and a healthy body……..

If it has been a considerable amount of time since you extricated your buttocks from the couch you might want to start slow before you spend money on exercise equipment or a gym membership.  Begin by getting off the couch and walking.  Remember you actually know how to do this!  Start by setting your goals to four days a week for 30 minutes at a time.  If you can’t do 30 minutes, do 15.  If you are unable to do 15 minutes without becoming winded, you need to see your medical doctor for evaluation.  

When you start a walking program, do not push yourself, walk briskly without getting too winded.  What is most important is just moving.  Don’t worry about how far or how fast you are going, just get started moving your body. If you push yourself too much you may injure yourself which defeats the whole purpose and puts you back on the couch and in my office.

Start by walking on Monday.  If you start your week off right, the rest of it tends to fall in line.  Try your best to at least go every other day.  When you skip too many days in a row, you tend to lose the momentum.  Remember putting your feet outside your door wither to walk or to the gym is the toughest part of the process.

We are a society that tends to sit on our buttocks for most of the day.  That allows our “metabolic engines” to sit at a very low idle.  So exercise gives you Energy! It gets your “engine” running.  Exercise also keeps you SANE!!  It is motivating to know that with exercise you can feel calmer, happier and energized.  The long-term benefits are for your heart, strengthening your immune system, increasing your capacity to enjoy the things you love to do, and most important increasing your circulation.  It has been shown that by increasing your circulation with aerobic exercise we can increase the blood flow to the brain and thus increase and maintain our memory.

The goal is to move.  Just start and keep working your way into more.  Your mind, body and heart will thank-you.