New Year’s Resolution for Exercise

Weight Gain

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to exercise, this year, rethink how you think about exercise! Chances are that you have tried the “I need to exercise more this year” resolution and failed to make any permanent changes. Ponder these things before you begin your “exercise” program.

First, think of exercise as moving and eliminate the “e” word from your vocabulary because most of think of exercise as a chore. Movement is something we do every day. We all need to move more. Think now of the types of movement you enjoy the most as a child. Did you enjoy playing a sport, in a team such as baseball or single focused such as tennis? Did you enjoy the adventure of riding your bicycle with the wind blowing in your hair, or did you enjoy playing with weights, or the feeling of your body in a swimming pool. Take this as huge clue of the type of activity that will motivate you to become more active.

Once you know what your favorite activity was. Break that activity down into its components. If you enjoyed biking through the streets of your neighborhood, then plot out a progression to prepare to enjoy this again. For example, you will need to improve your cardio and the strength in your thighs, ankle and knees. Don’t just go out and sign up for an intense spinning class! You need to start slow. Walk on a treadmill for 20 minutes three times a week to begin. On the days you don’t walk on the treadmill, then do exercises to strengthen your ankles and thighs. If you feel you are up to it, then go try a stationary bike for 10 minutes and work up. What you want to avoid is burn out which comes from overdoing your work out when you begin.

Your goal when you begin is to be consistent and regular in your appointment with yourself to move! Give yourself credit for following through with that. Showing up at this stage is everything. You have to show up for at least 6 weeks to feel that showing up is now an established new habit. Therefore, during this first six-week stage you don’t want to do anything that will prevent you from showing up, such as over training and being too sore to go to your  “movement”.

Second, while you are showing up and doing your regular training, now begin to plan how you can make it more fun. Find a friend that might enjoy what you do, and see if you can schedule a brief event, such as a 30 minute bike ride somewhere safe and not to challenging. It will make you feel so alive and you will have so much fun again. It is not only great exercise to do this but more importantly, it is a great stress relief and mental and emotional therapy to connect with your inner joy again.

Third, you need to be aware that when you have not been regularly physically active, the body’s biochemistry is not adapted to exercise. Exercise, movement and aerobic activity activate and require the body to make special enzymes that take time to develop a certain state of efficiency. This is also true of how your body burns fuel, how it burns fat and how it burns sugar. Even how your body uses hormones to burn fat and sugar change over time with consistent movement and training. Therefore, just because you go full out in your training your first week on your New Year’s resolution does not mean that your body is adapted to burn fuel efficiently, burn fat efficiently, and process oxygen efficiently.

When you get sore, tired and can’t recover from your over exertion fueled from your over enthusiasm, you will only frustrate your attempts to stay consistent. Therefore, realize that any movement program is to be started and thought of similar to training a muscle in the body. You can’t just start lifting a 50 lb dumbbell. You have to start with a lower weight and consistently stretch what you are able to do. This goes for any type of movement program. So start at a reasonable base line and cheer your self on with pats on the back as you reach each level of improved performance.

Fourth, if you have not been physically active, get a DPA test to determine the degree of clogging you have in your arteries. Immune Matrix (www.immunematrix.com) runs DPA testing. It takes only 2 minutes and will tell you the degree of plaque formation in arteries, veins and capillaries and the degree heart valves are involved. If you have significant and advanced atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis, it can be dangerous for you to engage in vigorous exercise. This condition is silent until it causes a heart attack or stroke.

Remember to pace yourself and your heart rate by following either the heart rate for your age posted at gyms, or the simple guide of always being able to hold a conversation while moving, otherwise you are working too hard and risking a heart attack by depriving your heart muscle of oxygen.

Fifth, when starting out everyone wants to do their favorite movement for 30 minutes or longer. However, as stated above, the body takes time to make the enzymes, use the hormones and oxygen prompted by aerobic activity. When these enzymes, hormones and oxygen utilization systems are not functioning optimally, you end up with a lot of toxic byproducts that cause muscle and join pain, free radical accumulation and damage and liver stress causing fatigue. It’s much better to start with low intensity; shorter time segments than to go all out and burn out or become injured.

If you are really eager to push yourself, do it with interval training! Interval training actually will get your body in better shape faster than longer lower intensity training. In any sport you would warm up, after 5 minutes of a steady pace you then increase your pace and maintain it for one minute, then drop back down to the original pace for 2, 3 or 4 minutes and then bump up to your intense pace again. You repeat this cycle for the entire 20, 30, 40 or minute work out. Be flexible. If after a few rounds of “interval training” you feel tired then complete your sport at a steady pace and congratulate yourself for having fun at challenging yourself.

Sixth, with any “movement” program, you need to drink more water before, during and after your sport to help cleans your blood of the metabolic toxins that build up during your sport. You also need adequate rest to allow the muscles to repair themselves. Part of any work out involves the body breaking down muscle. Rest helps the body repair and rebuild muscle. If you find that you are fatigued the next day, then you have overdone your session the day before. The cause can be due to adrenal deficiency, which can slow the progress of your “movement” program. However, trying to push through and force your body to work harder when it cannot recover will surely weaken your adrenals further and doom your program. If you suffer repeated fatigue after your program despite cutting back, then you need to have a salivary adrenal test run. This test can be done at home and mailed in. (available online store at www.immunematrix.com by Diagnos-Techs Inc.)

As you can now see, embarking on a movement program to gain:

  • better heart fitness
  • muscle tone
  • oxygen usage
  • lung strength
  • stamina
  • energy
  • improved sleep
  • improved appearance and sex drive

are all great motivators to keep your program going. However, unless you make it fun, and make it consistent and interesting your resolution will fall flat in its tracks. Understanding how the body takes time to adjust to your increased oxygen, sugar, hormone, and detoxification needs will allow you to go easy on yourself to strive for gradual degrees of difficulty and time commitment.

Plot your weekly schedule for the next six weeks of what you will do, what days, for how long and what time. Be flexible and adjust this schedule as you learn how your body responds. Use good equipment to protect your body. Take water with you. If you are hungry before you scheduled movement program, have a small protein snack (not a carbohydrate snack) such as a few almonds, or rice protein smoothie. After your program, take some type of anti-oxidant to counter the free radical accumulation that can wear your body down over time from overstrain. It will also help your body rejuvenate faster after your work out. And remember to get more rest to boost recovery. Send us your questions or program challenges so that together we help you make 2011 the year that movement becomes a regular joy in your life.

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Information on this 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 site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan