FUNCTIONALLY CAFFEINATED WELLNESS

Push-ups are a rock-solid way to build upper body strength. CONTRIBUTED

How do you start an exercise program when you’ve become a pro lounge lizard?!

First and foremost, give yourself a pat on the back for deciding it is time to make some healthy changes.

Secondly, do not for one minute think that you need a workout routine that would give Jackie Chan some trouble. The idea is not to hurt yourself but to help yourself, and I am going to give you some solid advice on when to start and how to start.

Step 1: Have a chat with your physician and let him or her know you’re going to start an exercise program. I can already hear you – “But Jen, I can’t even tell you when the last time I saw my doctor was,” or “I don’t like going to my doctor’s because they make me step on that 1950s scale that sounds like it might fall apart when I step on it.” My response to you, and to every other excuse not to see your physician, is this: Just do it. It is so important to get your annual physical done before starting a workout program. Your doctor should know what you are attempting and should check your overall health to make sure your major systems are ready for it. This will help avoid any nasty health scares.

Step 2: Start slow. If you haven’t been working out for six months or longer, start with one or two days a week for 10-minute bouts at a time. A simple walk can do your body wonders. After a few weeks of doing that, slowly increase the amount of time you spend doing it. Ideally, the goal is 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular work and two or three days of strength training.

Step 3: If you don’t know what strength training and cardiovascular exercises are, hire a certified personal trainer to help you. Many gyms and online programs have trainers that will show you how to do movements safely and effectively. If you are going to spend time doing it, it had better be done correctly.

Step 4: if you can’t afford a personal trainer, start with these three moves and a 10-minute walk and your health will change for the better.

Start with doing these moves 1-2 times per week with 4-6 repetitions at a time. As they get easier, add on another day and work your way up to doing 12-15 reps of each movement. Modify as needed, and if it hurts, stop. Pain is a messenger telling you that this movement is not for you at this point in time.
Movement 1: Sit-to-Stand. Similar to a squat, but with the added benefit of having a target to reach (the chair). This lower body exercise won’t just make your lower body stronger; it will increase your heart rate, especially if you do a few in a row, as well as making getting out of the car or bed a much easier task.

Movement 2: Push-up. Nothing will help you achieve upper body strength as quickly as a good ol’ fashioned push-up. If you cannot do them from the floor, start by doing them from the wall and work your way down to the ground as you gain strength.

Movement 3: A seated or lying knee tuck. A strong middle section is imperative for helping head off back pain, increase balance and make everyday activities like vacuuming a lot easier. Just like the push-up, if you cannot do them from the floor, you can simply modify them by sitting in a chair.

Lastly, when you go for your walk, aim for 10 minutes at a pace that challenges you and that you can maintain. If you can sing an entire song, you aren’t walking fast enough; if you can barely spit out your name, you’re moving too fast.

If you have questions, reach out to Jenniferlynnboltz@gmail.com. You’ve totally got this!

How do you start an exercise program when you’ve become a pro lounge lizard?!

First and foremost, give yourself a pat on the back for deciding it is time to make some healthy changes. 

Secondly, do not for one minute think that you need a workout routine that would give Jackie Chan some trouble. The idea is not to hurt yourself but to help yourself, and I am going to give you some solid advice on when to start and how to start.  

Step 1: Have a chat with your physician and let him or her know you’re going to start an exercise program. I can already hear you – “But Jen, I can’t even tell you when the last time I saw my doctor was,” or “I don’t like going to my doctor’s because they make me step on that 1950s scale that sounds like it might fall apart when I step on it.”  My response to you, and to every other excuse not to see your physician, is this: Just do it. It is so important to get your annual physical done before starting a workout program. Your doctor should know what you are attempting and should check your overall health to make sure your major systems are ready for it. This will help avoid any nasty health scares.

Step 2: Start slow. If you haven’t been working out for six months or longer, start with one or two days a week for 10-minute bouts at a time. A simple walk can do your body wonders. After a few weeks of doing that, slowly increase the amount of time you spend doing it. Ideally, the goal is 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular work and two or three days of strength training.  

Step 3: If you don’t know what strength training and cardiovascular exercises are, hire a certified personal trainer to help you. Many gyms and online programs have trainers that will show you how to do movements safely and effectively. If you are going to spend time doing it, it had better be done correctly.  

Step 4: if you can’t afford a personal trainer, start with these three moves and a 10-minute walk and your health will change for the better.  

Start with doing these moves 1-2 times per week with 4-6 repetitions at a time. As they get easier, add on another day and work your way up to doing 12-15 reps of each movement.  Modify as needed, and if it hurts, stop. Pain is a messenger telling you that this movement is not for you at this point in time.  

Movement 1: Sit-to-Stand. Similar to a squat, but with the added benefit of having a target to reach (the chair). This lower body exercise won’t just make your lower body stronger; it will increase your heart rate, especially if you do a few in a row, as well as making getting out of the car or bed a much easier task.  

Movement 2: Push-up. Nothing will help you achieve upper body strength as quickly as a good ol’ fashioned push-up. If you cannot do them from the floor, start by doing them from the wall and work your way down to the ground as you gain strength.  

Movement 3: A seated or lying knee tuck. A strong middle section is imperative for helping head off back pain, increase balance and make everyday activities like vacuuming a lot easier. Just like the push-up, if you cannot do them from the floor, you can simply modify them by sitting in a chair.  

Lastly, when you go for your walk, aim for 10 minutes at a pace that challenges you and that you can maintain. If you can sing an entire song, you aren’t walking fast enough; if you can barely spit out your name, you’re moving too fast.  
If you have questions, reach out to Jenniferlynnboltz@gmail.com. You’ve totally got this!

Jennifer Boltz-Harvey is the owner and operator of Highly Motivated Functionally Caffeinated, LLC, a concierge personal training and nutrition coaching business in the Keys. Her passions include helping people reach their health goals as well as working out, cooking and traveling with her husband. She also really loves snuggles from her dog, Stella.