How to Start Your Fitness Journey
How do I start to get into shape? This is one of the top questions I get asked as a physical therapist. I am treating patients who come to see me with an injury or dysfunction, looking for my expertise in helping to achieve their goals to recovery. I am pleasantly honored when they ask for my advice, personal insight, and experience to help them towards an improved lifestyle. Where do I start? Do I need to join a gym? Do I need a personal trainer?
The answer is multifaceted, multidimensional, and personal. Some folks need and enjoy gym memberships. They like to leave their house or work and go to a facility set up with weights, machines and outside energy of tons of people working on their fitness. They also can be motivated by the cost they put forth to join. For others this is an unaffordable luxury.
I’ll preface my next comments by revealing that I am not a nutritionist or registered dietician. I simply have a strong interest in healthy and clean eating. Proper nutrition, clean eating, and limiting sugar are 3 components of fitness that I can say are paramount in whether you are looking for weight loss, weight maintenance or muscle gain. Your fitness plan must address these components. This too does not require costly consultants. There is plenty of well written books and publications about the subject many written by reputable medical physicians and specialists in the field.
Don’t let fitness plans intimidate you. Pick a plan that you can live with. You don’t have to go to a gym and work out for hours. You do need to commit to something 3x a week for at least 20-30 minutes. Walking is one of the easiest and least costly regimens. You can progress your time weekly adding 3-5 minutes each session. Do more if you can handle it. Once this becomes habit, consider adding some light resistance training for your arms, You don’t need weights, just grab a soup can and do some elbow bends, shoulder raises, or bent over rows. How about stretching or Yoga? There are many phone apps, podcasts or google sites that one can find for stretching ideas.
There is a “no cost” start to fitness. Remember, you may have some set- backs, you may get busy, preoccupied or “not feeling it today” and thus miss a session. Don’t give up on yourself, just get back on it.
Finally, some folks need the support. Don’t abandon your goal because of the lack of support. There are family members, friends, or coworkers that one can connect with to help support you in your fitness goals.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and have the fortitude to make healthy changes. It’s never too late. Do it, believe it, and live it.
Here at MMI we all foster and support good health habits. We support a healthy community. Call us if you need to address and injury or pain issues to help you towards a healthy and fit 2021. Visit mmidocs.com today.