My Doctor Said I Need to Exercise, But What Does That Mean?

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Recently, I have been told by a lot of my patients that their primary care physician or other doctors in the past have told them that they need to exercise more, whether it was for weight loss, diabetes, low back pain, it really doesn"t seem to matter, they just like to tell patients to exercise more. It seems like it"s a common thing for patients to hear from their doctors, but rarely if ever does it seem like their doctor has the time or the knowledge to expand on that general "you need to exercise more" statement.

When they tell you to exercise, do they mean go for a slow walk, do they mean go for a jog/run, are they talking about a strenuous weight training routine? What about swimming? Yoga? Water aerobics? Zumba? Does it even matter at this point? The simple answer is, yes, it does matter.

There isn"t just one blanket exercise that is appropriate for everybody, because everybody is in a different place in life, and we all have different levels of fitness or activities that we can do. Also, we need to have defined goals in mind. Is the goal to lose 50 pounds, or to gain core strength in your low back and knees? Is your goal purely for cardiovascular heart health, or is it to look better in a swimsuit? Or maybe it"s to gain strength and energy so you can play with your kids/grandkids. All of these would lead to different exercise advice for each situation.

For example, if you are 55 years old, significantly over weight, and sedentary in your day to day life, telling you to go to the gym, do a bunch of intense weight training with squats, bench press, deadlifts, etc. wouldn"t be the best advice, in actuality, that wouldn"t even be good advice. For someone in that situation, getting started with a simple walking routine would be a better place to start.

But then we get to the question, what do you mean by a walking routine? How fast, how long, how frequent are all factors to consider with each individual. Walking casually around the block slowly, while better than absolutely nothing, isn"t very effective for people unless they are forced to use walkers to move around on a daily basis. When walking is to be utilized for exercise, typically the standard is to do 3-4 days per week walking for 20-40 minutes per walking session at a speed that is a challenge but not overly difficult. The pace at which you walk will very from person to person, that"s why you won"t be told to simply walk at 3.0 MPH on a treadmill or any specific speed like that. Typically, they tell you to walk at a pace that will make it difficult to carry a conversation with somebody. What that means is, if you were walking with a friend, you could still talk with them, but it would be a bit labored. You would sometimes have to take deep breaths between your walking and talking. If you can walk and talk perfectly with no effort, that probably means you"re not walking fast enough.

That"s just one example of what it could mean to exercise according to your doctor. Other situations could be doing yoga twice a week to work on core strength and flexibility. Sometimes weight training is necessary to build strength so you can lift your kids or grand kids. Maybe you want to work your way up to the weight training, but need to start with water aerobics just to get started with exercising. And not to mention, none of this included possible changes in diet and nutrition, but that"s a discussion for another day.

My doctor told me to exercise more, but what do they mean by exercise?
Quoted From: http://www.premieracu.com/my-doctor-said-i-need-to-exercise-but-what-does-that-mean/

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