Health: Where to Start? Part II
You have the building blocks of a solid diet under control after reading Part I. Good job! Doing that is the hardest part — not that it should be, but we humans have some sick addictions to certain foods. Ending that cycle and breaking into a new, healthier way of eating is paramount.
MOVE. Get off your butt and MOVE. Ideally I like for my patients to “fix” their diet and exercise habits all at once, but this is rare. Once I see that someone will commit to changing their diet, I know that they are ready for more. This is where I suggest incorporating an exercise routine.
Now, when I say, “routine”, I don’t necessarily mean a strict regiment. I want you to start by moving OFTEN. Make movement a big part of your day. A sedentary lifestyle is the big enemy. Don’t allow yourself to sit for hours upon end. If you sit at a desk all day, stand at your desk instead (I’m standing while I write this blog). Or, get up often for a stroll around the office.
I’ve learned a lot by watching my kids. They NEVER. STOP. MOVING. We don’t have to tell kids to exercise (well, normal kids that play outside…though that is becoming more rare). They inherently want to run, jump, roll, wrestle, and dance. Be more like a kid! Go OUTSIDE and PLAY. Climb a tree. Throw a ball. Go tackle one of your co-workers and wrestle! I don’t care so much about how you exercise but that you move and move often.
I know. I can already hear you…”Now, Dr. Jordan, that just isn’t practical. We both know I’m not going to start climbing trees again.” Well, you should…but okay. Let’s get practical.
Step 1: Go buy a heart rate monitor. I use this one. A cheaper version that works fine can be found here.
Step 2: Calculate your Aerobic zone. I use Phil Maffetone’s formula and method for aerobic training.
Step 3: Spend an hour/day in that zone. If you can do more, do more.
Step 4: For the rest of the day, be conscious about not being so sedentary.
Step 5: Find excuses to go outside and do things that you enjoy. Golf, gardening, hacky-sack, who cares…something.
You get the idea. We need to move. We need to move often and we need to move well. Movement is life.
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