Self-Assessment: How do you like to get moving?

October 9, 2015

If you have a medical condition that causes you pain, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do. But exercise can actually help to reduce your pain, so try to find ways to integrate it into your life – after first talking to your doctor.

Self-Assessment: How do you like to get moving?

7 Guidelines for putting more activity in your life

If walking bores you, you won't do it. If swimming has always drawn you, choose it instead. Think of what you used to enjoy doing as a child — even if it was jumping rope, throwing a football, or roller skating — and find a way to tap into those natural affinities now.

You'll have an easier time making exercise a habit if you follow your natural preferences. Ask yourself these questions to help you choose the activity that's right for you:

  • What kind of exercise do you like?
  • Are you an indoor or outdoor person?
  • Do you like to exercise alone or in groups?
  • Do you like gym classes or video instruction?
  • At what time of day do you have the most energy?
  • Do you like to exercise all at once or in 10 minute increments?
  • Are you someone who likes to get things done?

Once you have an idea about the exercise activity that best suits you, here are 7 guidelines that will help you get moving:

  1. If you love to be outside, head to a local park, walk around your neighbourhood, cultivate a garden, put up a backstop in the driveway to shoot hoops, or strap on some cross-country skis. In many cities, organizations offer outdoor fitness classes.
  2. If you prefer indoors, go mall walking, get a home treadmill, sign up for gym classes.
  3. If you prefer exercising alone, pick walking, swimming, cycling. If you like to chat while you sweat, ask a friend to join you or sign up with a trainer or for a class.
  4. If you choose a class, make sure the instructor has worked with people who have your condition. If you prefer a video, ask your physical therapist to recommend one that is safe for you.
  5. If you're a morning person, schedule your exercise then. Even if you tell yourself you'll do it later, it's much harder to get out the door when you're tired.
  6. If you prefer to exercise in 10 minute bouts, that's fine. Try to fit three of them into your day.
  7. Appeal to your practical side. You have to mail letters anyway, so why not walk to the nearest mailbox? If want to volunteer your time for charity, why not participate in a charity walk?
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