Putting exercise back into your life
Q: I want to get back into exercising, but I need some help.
What’s the best way to get started?
Carl P., Evanston, Ill.
A: Everyone has struggled lately with getting enough exercise; a 2021 report from the American Psychological Association found that 53% of U.S. adults say they’ve been less physically active than they wanted to be since the pandemic started. So let’s not dwell on what you haven’t been doing, and look forward to what you’re going to do.
Restarting or starting to exercise doesn’t mean you have to walk 5 miles the first day. In fact, that’s a formula for defeat — and sore feet. Instead, you want to take time to establish what your goals are and what you can realistically start doing.
Step 1: Write out a schedule of what activity you will do each day and when.
— Sunday: 10:30 a.m., walk for an hour. If it’s raining? Do a 45-minute yoga class online at DoctorOz.com; search for “45-Minute Yoga With Melanie Hyman.”
— Monday: 7:30 a.m. go to gym for strength-training for 30 minutes or visit DoctorOz.com and search for “30-Minute Full-Body Strength Training With Troy Brooks.”
— Tuesday: 6:30 p.m., take a walk after dinner.
You get the picture. Some moderate-intensity everyday activities and sports to consider: pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes; raking leaves for 30 minutes; walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/ mile); stair-walking for 15 minutes; bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes; water aerobics for 30 minutes; basketball (playing a game) for 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: Enlist a partner or join a group for support (and a touch of peer pressure). It makes it much easier to stick to your schedule.
Step 3: Practice forgiveness. If you miss a day (or two), don’t get discouraged. Take a deep breath and start again.
The rewards will come pretty fast. After just a week of working out, stress dissolves, your skin looks better, you’ll have more energy in the daytime and sleep better at night.
What’s not to love?
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Submit your health questions at www.doctoroz.com.