As discussed in my previous blog, I intend to provide clear-cut approaches to becoming more active. As with many other things we encounter in this millennium, metrics are important. In other words, we could benefit from measuring our activity and exercise.
An initial step might be to utilize some type of activity monitor. I personally use a Fitbit® but Apple® has its watch. Other serious athletes use other devices such as Precor® which has a heart rate monitor or Garmin® activity monitor.
Whatever you choose, especially if you are a novice, start by measuring your baseline activity. Without making any changes in your daily/weekly activity, measure your current activity level.
- Take a close look at how many steps or calories you burn during the week.
- Set exercise goals to increase your activity levels by 10% of your starting point.
- If you do not exercise, start by walking 5 minutes a day above your normal activity level. Continue to add to the 5 minutes a day of walking until you reach 30-60 minutes per day.
- When you go shopping, park at the back of the lot furthest from the door to increase your steps. Use a staircase rather than an elevator.
- Add a bike ride, exercise class, or spinning class.
- Invite a friend to keep you company, to hold you accountable, and have more fun!
- Hire a personal trainer who can help you kick it up a notch and give advice on the best tips to get in shape, trim weight, and burn those unwanted calories.
- Put activity on your calendar and tell your friends or family what you intend to do.
- Join a gym or club (runners/biking), participate in a sport such as golf or tennis.
- Learn how to do strength training or an activity like Tai Chi or yoga.
To a long and healthy life,
David Bernstein, MD