The best exercise for 2014? You decide…

As 2014 gets closer, are you thinking about any fitness resolutions? One colleague told me recently “I’m hating my gym membership already” – and this is before she’s taken her first class!

Dr_BrownIn fact, many of us start off the New Year with grueling plans about what kind of exercise we’re going to do — for strength, for flexibility, or for weight loss. But if you do so, you may forget the most important consideration of all – what’s right for you?

Doing what’s best for you as an individual has always been an important part of my Better Bones approach, so I was extremely pleased that the concepts of personalized medicine and fitness were “hot” topics at a conference I recently attended.

If you would like to make an exercise resolution for 2014, here are a few ideas for helping you choose:

The best exercise for you is something that makes you feel good. Pay attention to what invigorates you and feels good for your body without causing any distress. For some of us, that may be a walk around the neighborhood, while for others it may be swimming, lifting weights or vigorous stretching. By doing what you love, you’ll do it more often and stick with it – and enjoy doing it!

Exercising outside can be lifting to the spirit. For me, there is something truly inspiring about getting out in nature as much as possible. One of my favorite activities in the winter is to snowshoe along with my dog. Short walks outside, cross-country skiing (with poles for balance) and even shoveling and building snow forts build fitness while helping us connect with nature.

With just about any exercise, you can increase bone-building action. As far as I’m concerned, any exercise is good exercise! For extra bone-building, the key is to “take your bones off guard” by varying your favorite routine. It seems that bone acclimates itself to the stresses we put on it, so unusual impact appears to stimulate bone-building factors. If you’re walking, add a few hops. If you swim, add some resistance paddles.

I’m hopeful that we’re all getting to the point where we no longer need to think that everything works for everybody!


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