Open Accessibility Menu

Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine: Choose From A Variety of Options

Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine: Choose From A Variety of Options

Ads for trendy workout equipment or pricey personal trainers may tempt you with promises of a trim and shapely physique, but you can be fit without investing considerable time and money, according to Mac Barrient, Physical Therapist and North Oaks Rehabilitation Services Director.

“My advice is to start off simply and work your way into a program that you enjoy and provides results for you,” Barrient shares. “Exercise is for everyone. Whether you’re 5 pounds overweight or 50, it will help you feel better and improve your chances for living a healthy life.”

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends healthy adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 days a week, or 20 minutes of more vigorous-intensity activity. Barrient believes there is an exercise routine for everyone, and cautions that patients should consult their doctors to see what is best for them before beginning any exercise ritual. “You should talk with your doctor to see what your body can handle,” he urges.

Here are Barrient's top picks:

Walk Before You Run

Walking is one of the simplest and least expensive options to increase your physical activity levels and improve your overall health. Walking can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and it works several major muscle groups that help pump blood back to the heart.

Yoga for the Body and Soul

Yoga is for those who want to not only improve their physical, but also mental and emotional states. It can help reduce blood pressure, improve digestion, and benefit individuals with chronic diseases and disabilities. There are a wide variety of yoga classes to choose from at varying paces. Some may include breathing and meditation, while others may use faster, flowing movements with rhythmic breathing.

HIIT Has Returns

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves repeated bouts of extreme effort followed by varied recovery times with concentrated work periods ranging from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long. It is performed at 80 to 95 percent of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate (the maximum number of times your heart will beat in 1 minute without overexertion). Interval training can be applied to a variety of exercise types, including cycling, walking and swimming. HIIT is known to improve blood pressure levels, cardiovascular health, cholesterol profiles, and the body’s ability to lose abdominal fat and weight—all while maintaining muscle mass. HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts and can be modified for people of all fitness levels and with special conditions, such as obesity and diabetes.

Whatever your budget or motivation, take the first step. Learn more about the types of exercise programs available and what is appropriate for you by consulting your family physician. If you need a physician, call (985) 230-7850 or click here to learn more about North Oaks Physician Group’s primary care physicians.