Solid recommendations! They also have an audio portion, which is well done. - D

By: Anna Cotton, OTR and Courtney Capwell, DPT, MSCS

With spring in the air, itís time to think about getting out and being active! We all know that physical activity and exercise will improve our health, but incorporating them into our daily lives can be difficult. Please download and print the April Webinar Handout to help you individualize an exercise plan to start making changes today.

The first step is identifying what motivates you to exercise? Is it a larger fitness goal like walking, running or biking in a NMSS or local event? Is it maintaining or losing weight? It could be as simple as wanting to be fit enough to play with your children or grandchildren. Whatever it is, it needs to be individualized to your goals in order to help motivate you in those times when exercising is the last thing you want to do.

Secondly, itís important to take stock of what you are already doing and what is lacking about your current exercise routine. Below are links to exercise handouts to assist in initiating a well-balanced exercise program. The handouts are divided into the four major categories of exercise, providing options for each of the following:

Cardiovascular Activity

Keep in mind the FITT principles when initiating your program.

Frequency: How often should you exercise?
Intensity: How hard should you exercise?
Time/Duration: How long should you exercise?
Type/Specificity: What type of exercise is most appropriate?

Click the clink to see the general FITT guidelines for each exercise category. While these guidelines are a helpful place to begin, however please remember that it is important to personalize your program. Allow yourself to begin slowly and build as you are ready and able. Although it does require effort, exercise should never be painful. It is always important to consult your healthcare team. Consider seeking the assistance of a Physical Therapist and/or Occupational Therapist should you need additional direction in initiating exercise.