Judy Rubinson has no problem with the annual promises of more exercise that typically come this time of year.
In fact, she encourages such promises when they are followed by action.
Rubinson is a certified personal trainer at Health Directions, the health and wellness component of Lexington Medical Center, and she believes no excuse is a good enough to justify neglecting your health. Even an after-dinner walk or extra trip up the stairs can make a big difference in lives that are often too sedentary.
Rubinson spoke recently about some of the barriers that prevent people from exercising and offered some suggestions for breaking through them.
So what is one of the biggest roadblocks that prevent people from exercising?
Rubinson: Its their own motivation. If you want something bad enough, you do what it takes. If you are not able to get the motivation on your own to exercise then you need to invest in a personal trainer to keep you accountable. When you make a monetary investment to exercise and know that someone is at the gym waiting for you and theyll charge you for an appointment if you dont show up ... they usually get results. Being consistent is key.
How do you feel about New Years resolutions regarding exercise?
Rubinson: It is great to set a New Years resolution to exercise because you will at least get started. Not everyone will stick to it, but it will be great for those who do get hooked. Again, it is more a mental game with yourself than anything else. You must decide that you want something badly enough and then have the tenacity and mental toughness to go after it with no excuses.
Can you give a few exercise shortcuts people may not think about in their everyday lives?
Rubinson: The shortcut is not to take the shortcut. Stand up out of that chair and then sit down again and stand up again. Do it 10 more times. You just did a set of squats. Wear a pedometer and try to get those recommended 10,000 steps a day. This will show you if you are moving enough. Most people sit all day. Walk up and down a staircase several times instead of just once. Let everyone else have that nice close spot next to the store or where you work and you take the one farthest away so you can walk farther.
Go for a walk after dinner; it will help your digestion as well. Oh, its raining? Take your umbrella. Its too cold? Put on more clothing and walk a little faster! Its dark outside this time of year? Take a friend and a flashlight or get in the car and go to the mall.
So what is it about 30 minutes a day?
Rubinson: Thirty minutes a day is the recommended minimum to be doing some kind of cardiovascular activity in order to be healthy. One also should make it a goal to strength-train at least two days a week to be strong and toned, functional and to keep your bones dense. The saying is very true that if you dont use it you will lose it. The good news is that it is never too late to start and its never too late to improve your body. Your body will respond to exercise and it will make positive changes.
What are some of your favorite types of exercise?
Rubinson: My favorite types of exercises are those that work multiple muscles in one shot and are very functional such as squats, lunges, pushups and body rows. They are also exercises that go with you wherever you go and you dont need any special equipment to do them.
What are your suggestions for the person who is really starting from the beginning?
Rubinson: If you are starting from the beginning, dont do what I hear so much of: Im waiting to come to the gym once I get myself in shape. OK, well you probably wont come then. What do you think the gym is for?
And what do you say to such folks?
Rubinson: There will always be the excuses for why its not a good time in your life. Its never a good time and it never will be, so just get started as now is the time. Stop waiting. Stop talking about it. Stop making excuses. The only thing thats hindering you is you. Get your mind right. Get moving.
Reach Rantin at (803) 771-8306.