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Dr Russ Blog - Creating a Fun and Effective Exercise Program
Creating a Fun and Effective Exercise Program
Created on 6/17/2011

I do my best to exercise on most days of the week (and by the way, if I miss a day I forgive myself, and then get right back on track!). But after a few months or years I tend to get bored with doing the same exercise routine and begin looking for something new.

So last month it was the 20-minute Navy SEAL team exercise - you know, those elite and incredibly brave military members who are also incredibly fit?

So, I gave it a try.

Suffice it to say, I'm not going to be a Navy SEAL in this lifetime (I'm still recovering...).

But I did have fun giving it a try. And that's part of what I learned - it's important to spice up our exercise routines every once in a while, both for fun and to boost our enthusiasm for the exercise.

What if you don't know how to get started, or what new path to take?
Goodness knows there are plenty of articles on the internet, in magazines and books, even on TV that suggest how we should exercise, but some of those people in the articles intimidate me (how can they exercise for 5 minutes a day and look that good?!), and the exercises don't always appeal to me. Plus, if you have health issues, some of the general exercises being proposed might actually be unhealthy.

My recommendation?


What I mean is splurge for 4 weeks and meet with a personal trainer once or twice a week for one month. Just one month.

By the end of that time you'll have an individualized fitness program you can follow. Plus, since you've set aside time to meet with the trainer, once you've stopped working with the trainer keep that time set aside for exercising and then add more exercise time during the week.

How many days a week of exercise?

At least 5, but 6 would be better.

If you're just starting out, or if it's been a while since you regularly worked out, it makes sense to check in with your doctor first.

If you can't afford to splurge for a trainer for a month, at least begin some type of fitness activity as soon as you get the green light from your doctor.

Maybe you'll commit to taking a walk each morning and afternoon, starting out with 5-15 minutes at a time and exerting yourself just enough to break a good sweat. In a week or two you might increase the time you walk, aiming over a period of weeks or months to get to a total of 45 minutes each day (you can split the time up throughout the day and still get the health benefits).

Maybe you'll walk the golf course.

Or garden more often.

Or dance. 

Or stretch a little each morning to get the day started.

It almost doesn't matter provided you're doing SOMETHING - just make that something enjoyable and comfortable, and do it regularly.

Exercise is not only good for your body, it's good for your head (it's the single best stress buster known, and is an effective anti-depressant, too).

So you don't have to exercise like a Navy SEAL to be fit and healthy (thank goodness!) - find an activity you enjoy, get expert guidance, do SOME type of physical activity...

And be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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