This blog was contributed by Dr. Alexander Aboka of Virginia Orthopedic & Spine Specialists.
Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or exhausting to meet your body’s fitness needs. Your exercise routine should help keep your heart, bones and muscles strong as well as provide you with an enjoyable activity.
To incorporate more exercise into your life in 2014, be prepared to experiment with your everyday routines. Find a way to make exercise part of your routine, from taking stairs instead of elevators, going on an evening walk or parking further away from the store the next time you go shopping.
But sometimes every day activities are not enough to maintain cardiac health. The more you enjoy an exercise, the more likely you’ll be to do it. Try a variety of exercises until you find the one you like and can comfortably complete. If you find you hate the elliptical machine at the gym, try riding a bike outside instead. The point is to just keep trying and not get discouraged just because you don’t enjoy yoga.
Also, don’t set a goal of getting a toned and muscular body. This is an unrealistic goal for most people. Set a goal of being able to take the stairs without being winded or being able to jog a mile or other small goals that you can build on as the year and your fitness progresses.
Before you start any exercise routine, talk to your physician about what will work best with your body’s abilities. Once you find an exercise routine that fits your lifestyle, fitness level and schedule, you’ll find that it makes you feel better both mentally and physically.
About Dr. Aboka – Alexander M. Aboka, MD, MPH, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, arthroscopy, and shoulder and knee reconstructive surgery. He holds a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a master in public health degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health — both in Pittsburgh, Pa. Dr. Aboka is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Association of North America. He speaks English and Spanish.