Want to feel healthier, boost your mood and energy, and prevent many health problems? Just exercise. Consistently. Regular physical activity and exercise have many positive health effects that are difficult to deny.
Whether you’re coming home from a long day at work or dropping off your kids at school, taking a few minutes to work out at home can be your secret weapon, and you can do them any time of the year.
You won’t need much equipment or a lot of knowledge to do these easy workouts that can get your blood flowing and heart pumping.
Just take a look at these answers provided by ourElite Physical Medicine team to discover how they perform their simple exercises every day to improve their happiness and overall health:
Krisha Robbins (Nurse Practitioner): I stretch first thing before I get out of bed. You don’t need any extra equipment. Just do simple knee-to-chest stretches and move your knees side to side, as this helps with the lumbar and sciatica. This also helps loosen up the muscles so that you don’t pull one.
Jamie Bildner (Case Manager): I do my stretching in bed before I get up in the morning. My husband and I take our knees to our chest, hold it for 10–15 seconds, and repeat that 4–5 times. This kind of stretching is beneficial for the lower back.
Dr. Mike Teifke (Chiropractic Physician): Since I love my warm shower, I usually do toe touches while showering. It engages my hamstrings, calves, and lower back. And it increases my strength and flexibility.
Lacy Enneking (Nurse Practitioner): I do planks since I have to do a lot of work on my core because of my back. I usually do it in the evenings after work. Personally, my goal is to hold the plank position for 5 minutes, but you should aim to do it for at least a minute at the very least.
Ben Kasle (Office Manager): I try to bike on my Peloton 3 times a week. I usually do it at night because it engages my whole body without putting too much pressure on my bones and joints. It also means I won’t have any new aches and pains when I go to bed at the end of the day, making it easier for me to fall asleep.
Jena Voltz (Medical Assistant): When I get home from work, I always take my dog for a walk outside. I always aim to walk for a mile, which usually takes me 30 minutes. The nicest thing is that I get to see my dog and spend time with her, which is more beneficial to my mental health than my physical health.
Dr. Scott Shelby (Chiropractic Physician): I do basic stretches in front of the TV. It’s a great way to find time to stretch for those who usually don’t have time. I usually do 5 sets of 5 reps. From jumping jacks to lunges. It’s very easy and also really fun.
How much should I work out?
5 times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time, is a good target for your workout routine. But most people need to take it slow at first. Start by working out for 20 minutes twice or three times a week. Once you’re used to it, slowly increase how long you work out and how many days a week you do it. As you become older, strength exercise becomes even more essential for maintaining healthy bones. Jogging, strength training, and lifting weights are all examples of impact exercises that improve bone health and lower the chance of fractures. But before you start an exercise program, make sure you talk to your primary care provider.
Increase reps and speed slowly.
Don’t try to do too much too soon when you work out so you don’t hurt yourself. Start with something fairly easy for you, like walking or basic stretching. Do it several times a day for a few minutes each time. Then, slowly add more time to the activity and make it more difficult.
For example, if you’re like Dr. Scott Shelby who does 5 sets of 5 reps every time he works out, try to slowly increase your reps and speed over several weeks.
Or if you exercise like Ben Kasle, who rides his Peloton 3 times a week, try to gradually add more days to your routine once your body gets used to it.
Don’t push yourself too far.
After about a week of working out, you will start to feel and think differently, and your cells will be able to make more energy. If you work out regularly for 2 to 4 weeks, you’ll start to see changes in your strength and fitness. However, if you try to push yourself too hard at first, you could strain or sprain your muscles. And when this happens, you’ll have to stop your exercise program until the injury heals. This can keep you from getting healthy. So, always take things slow and never push yourself too far. Slow and steady is the key.
Questions to ask when to see your doctor
Am I healthy enough to start going to the gym?
Is there exercise I should not do?
Do I have any health problems that would stop me from working out?
Do I take any medicines that would make it hard for me to work out?
Be part of the Elite Physical Medicine family
We work collaboratively at Elite Physical Medicine to offer personalized treatment plans for joint pain, sciatica, arthritis, back and neck pain, knee pain, peripheral neuropathy, injuries, and other conditions.
If you are experiencing any pain that is interfering with your quality of life, new patients can schedule an evaluation at one of our clinics for safe, natural pain relief without harsh medications or invasive procedures.
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