I am excited to be starting a weekly column aimed at the community I have spent most of my life in. It’s my way of giving back. As a practicing chiropractor for 21 years in Bergen County, and a resident with a practice in Haworth for the past 12, I have been advocating health for all of my adult life.
I know and see first hand how hard it is to be healthy in an environment that advocates medication for every ailment and fast food restaurants on every corner. Even the supermarket aisles are full of food with ingredients you can’t even pronounce. That’s why I created this column: to give you a hand on living a healthier life one week at a time. Since knowledge is power, let’s start getting more powerful immediately. Making health a priority means starting with a small but meaningful change.
Exercise is essential for a healthy life. If you are not already exercising at all, and always seem to use one excuse or another, start small. Just 15 minutes per day can improve your heart health, attitude and metabolism. Keep an exercise diary and commit to at least 5 days a week for 15 minutes. A walk early in the morning or later in the evening (now that it is so hot during the day) is a great way to get your body moving. If you can enlist a friend, family member or dog (you may have to borrow a neighbors), that is a great way to be more accountable and more successful. I like taking my dogs for a walk because I am helping them exercise and they don’t talk back. I enjoy the quiet time which is my mental down time during the day.
If walking isn’t your thing, the latest exercise videos are available with 15 minute segments of yoga, pilates, and zumba. Then there is always swimming, bowling or bike riding. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something and start slow. As your body gets stronger you will want to build up 5 minutes at a time.
You may have a goal to lose weight, firm up, or just improve you energy or mood. Write down your goal in your exercise journal and log the date, amount of time and what type of exercse you do. You can also put your starting weight and clothing size. It will be exciting to see your numbers change if you check yourself monthly. The many benefits of exercise will give you self satisfaction will surely make you a happier and more fulfilled person.
If you’re the type of person who needs more encouragement and can’t seem to do it alone, a coach might be what you need. Our office is a Creating Wellness Center which offers coaching for improving lifestyles in all three components: physical, biochemical, and emotional.
It doesn’t matter how you get started on your exercise program, just get started. If you feel discomfort or shortness of breath, you may need to change the type of exercise or start more slowly. It is a good idea to check with your family doctor if you are concerned about the type of exercise you are doing or to get checked out before beginning an exercise program. Start today and tomorrow will be better in many ways.
As a final note, make sure you drink more water to flush the toxins out and replenish the fluids lost during exercise.
Good Luck! See you next week. Dr. Vickie