We all know that there are benefits from exercise. There are so many different forms of exercise it can be difficult to know what to do. Different exercise experts all tout the benefits of their own individual methods. You can find trainers, physical therapists and others who will sell you on the benefits of everything from gentle walks to bikram yoga to heavy weightlifting. Does it really need to be this complicated? I don’t think so.
There are many different ways to achieve your fitness and health goals. I will lay out some of the things that I look for in an exercise program.
1: The programming has to be personalized. We all have individual goals, strengths and weaknesses. Your exercise programs should address all these factors.
2: You should enjoy your exercises. We all have specific preferences about what activities we enjoy. I personally heavy weightlifting but that is not appropriate or fun for some people. If you are going to be compliant with your exercise program it has be enjoyable. If you find yourself dreading exercising find something you enjoy more.
3: Your exercises should incorporate flexibility, strengthening and cardiovascular conditioning in some manner. Again there are many different ways to incorporate these components. You should be conscious of these aspects when performing your exercise program.
The take-home message is that there are many different ways to achieve your fitness and health goals. You should be mindful of exactly what you are trying to achieve from your exercises and if you will be compliant with the program. In order to achieve your goals it is important to decide if you will realistically do the exercise program and if the exercises are personalized for you.
If your fitness or health goals are not being met by your current exercise program, a physical therapist is a great resource. Physical therapists are able to design or modify an exercise program to meet your individual goals in a safe and fun way.
Feel free to contact Siskiyou Physical Therapy if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment. We regularly prescribe exercise programs for both health and fitness reasons.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Physical Therapist with Siskiyou Physical Therapy
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