Exercise Tips from an Exercise Physiologist
A successful weight loss program includes a personal exercise therapist who will offer exercise tips and supervise each patient’s physiological progress to help him or her achieve maximum results. Our exercise physiologist makes calculated suggestions and recommendations for the patient’s exercise regime. These exercise tips and tricks will propel you forward along your weight loss journey!
How can exercise be incorporated into a patient’s lifestyle?
Exercise is a lifestyle change and it’s best done as a team. Your doctor, medical personnel, and especially your family are all there to support you on your weight loss journey. Adopting such a huge lifestyle change can be challenging unless everyone around you is supporting you. (This affects diet especially.)
Try to exercise before mealtime so that food becomes a reward for a good workout. Give exercise a chance every day for a month and it will likely become part of your routine. Once you see and feel the results, you won’t want that to go away.
Some new technology, like the popular fitness tracker watch, can track your progress and help you reach your goals. Sometimes buying new workout gear can be your motivation to get to the gym on a regular basis.
What behavior modification or stress reliever do we recommend?
Exercise alone can greatly relieve stress. Physical activity produces endorphins – a chemical in the brain that acts as a natural painkiller – and improves sleep patterns, both of which reduce stress.
Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, improve sleep, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
When we exercise, many different amino acids get pulled into the cells with insulin, but the amino acid tryptophan is left alone by itself. Tryptophan travels up the body, crosses the blood brain barrier, and is converted into serotonin, or the “happy” neurotransmitter. Serotonin then converts into melatonin, the hormone that prompts – yes, you guessed it – better sleep.
How can patients be motivated and dedicated to progress?
We are always open to listen. For some patients, adopting a physically active lifestyle is a big change. We applaud that first step and reinforce their decision to be active. We listen to the challenges, brainstorm solutions, offer a pat on the back, and celebrate progress. Anyone can do it but they have to want it.
If a patient is coming to see us, we know he or she is serious about weight loss. Consistency with the process is key for this lifestyle change. Any time a patient is tempted to eat unhealthy food, we encourage them to think, “Do I want to satisfy a 10 minute craving, or have the body I’ve wanted for 10 years?”
In the end it’s mind over matter.