While several medical institutions recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week, this can feel like an impossible task for individuals with busy schedules. If you’re new to exercising, the idea of going from nothing to more than 2 hours of activity can be discouraging, but don’t let it deter you. Instead, start slowly and decide on what you can fit into your schedule each day. Set the time that you’ll start and how long you’ll exercise, and write it down. Writing down your goals or adding them to your calendar can help you hold yourself accountable and make sure you follow through.
It’s OK to start slowly. If you can only commit to 5 minutes at a time in the beginning, do it! Every little bit counts. Once you get in the habit of exercising, you can start to add more time or different exercises to your routine. Even in small doses, physical activity can improve your mood, help you sleep better and reduce stress. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion created the Move Your Way campaign to highlight the physical activity needed to stay healthy, and provides great information for parents and adults.
You don’t need to go out and buy a gym membership to exercise; it can be as simple as scheduling time to walk around your neighborhood. Find a type of movement that you like and fits into your lifestyle. It can also help to find a friend to work out with and who will keep you accountable. The most important thing is that you start moving.
Before beginning any exercise routine, it is always important to consult with a health care professional to approach fitness in the safest, most beneficial way.
Our area is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of sports medicine specialists, primary care physicians and other related health care providers dedicated to educating families in the community on improving overall well-being and establishing healthy routines.
Jeremy Schmitz, MD, is a sports medicine specialist with LeBauer Sports Medicine at Elam and LeBauer Grandover Village, and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. He completed medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts. Schmitz completed his family medicine residency and his primary care sports medicine fellowship at Cone Health.