Episode 2 of: How to Live a More Healthy Life (Energy to Exercise Edition)

Exercise: it is great for all sorts of things. Things like better brain function, heart health and gut health. But what do you do when you just don’t have the energy to exercise?

It is very hard to start a health program when you are not used to exercising, are ill or chronically fatigued.

First things first: you need to go to your doctor and get cleared for exercise. This may entail getting a physical or even getting a stress test done to check your heart health. DO NOT start an exercise program if you are not used to exercising without first talking with your doctor, okay? Thanks.

So now you have permission to get exercising, but you get SO tired from doing that hour at the gym or it hurts and then, well… you just don’t want to do it anymore, right? You’d rather do what you’ve been doing up until now: nothing. But as you know from this post  that’s not going to work any more. So instead: work your way up to it. Start out with something really, really small. Like walking for two minutes at a brisk pace two times a day. I know that there may be some eye-rolling going on right now, but stick with me here. The next day you will increase the brisk paced walk to 3 minutes and as the days go on you will incrementally add one minute of exercise at a time until, wonder of wonders: by the end of the month you are doing 30 minutes of brisk walking two times a day. If you overdo it go back to the amount of exercise you CAN do. But increasing the time incrementally this way should help you avoid that pitfall. If you have a setback because of illness or just being unable to get your regular exercise in no matter how hard you try then you may want to start at a lower level of exercise again. Just work your way up. You can do it.

You can do this type of incremental increase with weights and resistance training, too. The possibilities are endless. If you decide to do something like yoga, Pilates, swimming, running, using free weights or gym equipment you MUST do the following: get an instructor. At least until you feel comfortable and know how to use the correct body mechanics. A lot of people get excited about exercising and then they get hurt because they’re not doing it right. Don’t be one of those people. If cost is  an issue I suggest asking a friend or family member who does this type of exercise regularly and knows what they are doing for pointers/help as you are getting started. You could also ask for a tour of your gym that includes instruction on proper technique for using the equipment.  Consider having a personal trainer for a month or two, just to get you started. It’s amazing how having someone you are paying will motivate you to actually get going!

If you need support for starting an exercise program or are suffering from fatigue that is keeping you from exercise please come and see me, Dr Corinne Harpster, at Laurel Natural Medicine. 425-814-0202. I look forward to meeting you!

*The information I have included here or elsewhere on my website is not to be considered treatment or diagnosis or any particular disease or condition. Always consult your health care practitioner before undertaking any new health regimen.