Dr Dirk’s adventure with exercise

78486087For all of you who know me and have been following my Facebook page,  I have been sharing my attempts to lose weight by exercising and changing my nutrition.  It has not been easy. No news to all of you out there with the same struggle. I discovered a lot of things along the way.  The older you get the harder it is. – To all you young’uns out there, heed this message. Get your health AND weight under control before you cross the 50 threshold. After that, it’s Hell! Hell I tell you!

Life Happens- Every aspect of life gets in the way to torpedo your attempts to lose weight. Work, spouses, kids, job loss, illness, car accidents. Particularly setting aside time to exercise. I tell all my patients to make an appointment with themselves that they must keep. Like a sacred appointment with your favorite bariatric surgeon (hint, hint). Do you think my Google calendar is set? It is now. Do not beat yourself up – there are enough people out there willing to do that for you and they will do it free of charge! So when you miss exercising today, make sure you don’t miss tomorrow or the day after.  You aren’t 18 anymore- I am 56 at this writing. At 18 I was 10 feet tall, invisible, bullet proof and faster than a speeding locomotive…that’s what I remember. When I go on my run I am passed by a lady with a walker and a pregnant lady blows by me pushing an athletic stroller. I suspect that bump in her belly is actually a fuel tank powering the rocket in her butt. I swear I have heard her baby in her belly laughing at me. I digress, we can not perform at the same level we did back when Noah touched dry land. Time has not only changed our bodies, it has changed our bodies response to exercise. We do not produce the chemicals and hormones that allowed our superhuman actions.

Aerobic exercise – Very important and the base to build on. Anything that gets your heart rate up over 100 is aerobic.
Resistance exercise – Is not a substitute for aerobic exercise. It makes aerobic exercise more effective.

Toning and strengthening our muscles, helps us burn more calories, avoids injuries and helps us change inches.

So Dr Dirk, what words of wisdom have you for us?

•Start slow, don’t hurt yourself – you can’t go from 0 to 100 overnight. Start with 15 minutes blocks, then build up from there.
•Do something every day – A lot of people want to do the same workout everyday the same way. If they can’t, they stop or give up. Do something for the time you have set aside. 10-15 minutes of an intense
workout video, walk, stairs, jumping jacks is better than nothing at all.
•Raise your heart rate – Get your heart rate over 100 beats a minute and have it stay there for the time you have planned. As you become more fit, work to raise your heart rate to 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. (Maximum heart rate  = 220 minus age).
•Hydrate and nourish – You can not exercise if you are dehydrated or don’t have the fuel in you to exercise. Hydrate all day long, eat small portions all day long. These are your fuels to be able to exercise. If you do not eat at the end of the day, you will not have energy to exercise the next morning.
•Throw the scale away – All it does is make you crazy. Chase the numbers that are important. Minutes
exercised, number of days you exercised, number of meals, portion size, ounces of fluids, doses of vitamins, change in clothing size. If you must, step on the scale only once a month.
•Enjoy yourself – It will be a slog in the beginning, but make sure to find the fun in it.