When it comes to medical care, the ability to talk to your doctor openly is critical to obtaining the best overall
care. That notion is magnified when it comes to the idea of beginning a regular fitness routine, especially if
you have been primarily without any form of rigorous physical activity in recent months or years. How well you
and your doctor communicate with one another will determine whether of not your relationship can become a
healthy partnership. Taking an active role in your own health care makes your wellness a collaborative affair.
The first key element is to talk to your doctor about what type of fitness exercise is most appropriate for you.
The type of exercise that your doctor will recommend will depend on whether you have any current health
problems. In having the discussion with your doctor, it is very important that you too share with him/her some
of your prior health issues as they may not all be foremost in your doctors mind or easily found in past charts.
At a minimum, you should have your pulse and blood pressure checked. If possible, it would be great to be
able to take a basic stress or fitness test to help determine your current physical status. In addition, you
should make a basic exercise plan and review it with your doctor for potential feedback. Ultimately, seek
your doctor’s approval for the fitness exercise program you have in mind.
As you begin to consider a plan, think as much about the duration and frequency as you do about the
exercise itself. One can do the same activity for 10 minutes or 20 minutes or do two different sessions of
10 minutes each. If you are considering walking as your exercise, the options are endless. You can walk
some every day, you can walk longer every other day, or you can walk fast one day and more slowly
another. You can also walk on flat ground or on slopes, hills that are gentle rises or steeper inclines.
Discussing with your doctor the desire to be a walking regiment can mean drastically different things
depending on the approach used.
If the development process is left to the doctor to begin an exercise routine, doctors will likely recommend
at least one type of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise forces you to breathe deeper and makes your heart
work harder. Simple examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, and bicycling. Your doctor will
also note the importance of starting off slowly, walking at a leisurely pace before doing any power walking
and then walking at a brisk pace before jogging. If bicycling is the suggested activity, the advice will focus
on beginning on level ground and again pedaling at a modest pace before increasing one’s effort.
If you have particular physical problems then your doctor will likely focus on one type of fitness exercise
over another. For example, a person with problems with their feet or legs will seek suggestions that won’t
put stress on their feet. People with foot or leg problems will be steered towards exercises like swimming,
bicycling, or even rowing, all activities that put little or no stress on a person’s feet or legs.
No matter what kind of exercise you will be involved in, warming up is critical. As one ages, the need to
spend 5 to 10 minutes in a very low impact activity is even more important. In addition, the need to cool
down after exercising is also extremely important. Doing basic stretches before and after exercising will
prevent muscle stiffness and reduce the likelihood of injuries.
Though your doctor may not suggest it, a key element for developing a fitness exercise routine is the
importance of finding an exercise buddy. Because exercising requires huge self-discipline, it is difficult to
make and stick to a regular routine by yourself. Many people find that it is much easier to build a consistent
exercise routine or pattern by finding some one else to exercise with. An exercise buddy can be a neighbor
or friend, anyone willing to commit to working out in the same pattern that you are doing so. Some people
join an exercise class for that reason alone. The opportunity to interact with others is critical to help maintain
motivation. However, it is essential to find a buddy or a class that is appropriate for the type of workout you
are capable of doing. Being pushed into something that is too strenuous is absolutely the wrong approach
to developing a consistent routine.
And finally, make it a point to walk whenever you can, whenever you need to go any place in your
neighborhood. Walking is a great form of low impact exercise, but if one simply does enough walking
research indicates that it can be just as beneficial and healthy as more vigorous forms of exercise. The
key is both the duration and the regularity. Most importantly, you are getting much need exercise without
actually taking the time from your day to exercise.