It doesn’t matter what it is, moving your body every day is your key to health. It’s good for COPD, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, and back pain, to name a few.
“Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.”
– Dr. Aaron E. Carroll in The Upshot, NY Times Online, 6/20/16.
As with introducing any new healthful activity, start slowly. Don’t pay to join a gym or run a marathon. First, identify what physical activities you already do every day. Look for opportunities right there at home. Do you have space to move around? Do you have a yard? Does your apartment building or neighborhood have facilities you can use safely?
Let your doctor know you will be pursuing an exercise regimen and follow any recommendations he or she might have. Do a few minutes each day and slowly increase your routine. Important daily step: Congratulate yourself each time you move!
The goal is to progress to 30 minutes, each day, of moderate physical activity.
Ideally, you want to try and elevate your heart rate to 70-80% of maximum beats per minute, for most people that is a heart rate of 110-140 beats per minute. Moderate activity can be walking or vacuuming, or dancing in addition what you might consider “exercise,” like cycling or swimming. You can check your heart rate by placing two fingers (not the thumb) on your carotid artery. Find the soft spot just under your jaw between your jawbone and chin on either side. Count for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
We know it may feel daunting to embark on an exercise routine when you have not been very physically active, but you have to start somewhere. Why not let our social work team at the Pioneers Assistance Fund help? We can send you our brochure and brainstorm with you on ways to get moving. Think of walking over to the phone and dialing our number (888) 994-3863 as the first physical activities in your new daily exercise plan. Let us be the first to congratulate you on your healthy decision.