Did Your Doctor Tell You To Start Exercising?

Women are willing to have their breasts compressed during a mammogram reducing this sensitive tissue to objects resembling IHOP pancakes. Men are willing to bend over from the waist and patiently wait for the medical diagnostic finger to determine the health of their prostate. These are two procedures that are uncomfortable and dreaded by each gender respectively, yet are performed on most adults on a regular basis.
Exercise, on the other hand, increases energy, strengthens the body, the immune system and helps men and women remain flexible and functional over a lifetime. It improves the way they feel and look. Doesn’t it seem strange that men and women have decided to draw the line in the sand complying with exercise????????
Your doctor has now reinforced the message, “it’s time to begin exercising!” Unfortunately, this is usually where the doctor walks out of the treatment room and into the next patient’s room. If you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, the doctor doesn’t say, “you need blood pressure medication” and then walk out of the room. He or she pulls out their prescription pad and provides specific instructions on what medication is needed, what quantity is needed and how often. When it comes to exercise, you’re basically left on your own. Why is the “prescription” for exercise any less credible or important than prescriptive drugs?
If you’re in this situation and new to exercise what options are available. There are DVD’s for home use, there are home exercise machines like The Total Gym or Bowflex, there are dance, aerobic and zumba classes, there are gyms, martial arts and boxing facilities. Where should you start?
I encourage people new to exercise to follow 3 basic rules:
  1. Start with something you consider relatively easy
  2. Create specific times in your schedule to insure completing your exercise routine.
  3. Begin a routine 2-3X/week.
It has taken many years to reach the level of deconditioning you have successfully achieved. Don’t attempt to “jumpstart” the process by overtraining (typically daily in the beginning) because this will most likely result in PAIN and FAILURE. Slow and easy creates much better motivation and much better results (LONG TERM!)
Start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time allotment to 30 minutes. On a weekly basis, increase the duration of exercise by 5 minutes. Ex. If week 1 consists of 5 minutes of walking per workout, week 2 should consist of 10 minutes of walking per workout. Once you have reached the 30 minute mark, work on changing things up by incorporating interval training. This means you can walk slowly for 2 minutes, quickly for 2 minutes, jog for 15 seconds, walk up hill for 15 seconds, etc… Become creative. You don’t have to conform to a strict order! Simply change things up so your body doesn’t acclimate to doing the same thing each and every training session.
I have a Total Gym for the house AND a gym membership. This reduces the excuses because it provides access to resistive exercise equipment 24/7. WHAT ABOUT COST?!!! Many times you can get used home equipment (in excellent condition because the equipment was barely used) at bargain prices. Gym memberships can be found as low as $10/month. The big picture is cost should not be an issue with either or both purchases. It is certainly more cost effective than damaged health!
When incorporating machines, bands, dumbells, kettlebells, or any other equipment you choose for resistive exercises, begin with LIGHT RESISTANCE and keep the routine SHORT. Ten minutes is plenty to begin a routine. Do one set of 6-10 repetitions per body region to start. You should be able to feel the muscle working, but you should NOT feel exhausted after completing the exercise. In this phase, we are simply acquainting your body to new exercises to WAKE UP muscles that have  been on VACATION for a LONG TIME!
If the resistive exercises take 10 minutes, reduce the cardio portion (walking, biking, treadmill, elliptical, etc…) to 20 minutes (once you have gotten you cardio up to the 30 minute mark.) If you want to lengthen your routine, add 5 minutes to the cardio portion for one week. The following week add 5 minutes to the resistive portion.
The most important thing to do at this point is to keep the program short in duration to create a realistic habit and time-frame to exercise. Most people blame time for stopping. If you are in charge of time, you won’t make this excuse.
After doing this type of program for 3 months, it will be time to change things up to continue to gain new benefits from exercise. You will ALWAYS be in control of time, so any change you make should stay within a comfortable time-frame allotted for exercise.

RULES to live by:

  1. Create specific days for exercising. DO NOT say to yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow instead.” How many times have you had an ice cream sundae in front of you and said, “Na, I’ll eat this delicious mouth watering dessert TOMORROW! If the ice cream can’t wait, the exercise can’t wait. It is more important to get through the routine on a day you don’t want to, than the quality of exercise performed. Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!”
  2. If getting healthy is the goal, DON’T COMPETE WITH YOURSELF! This means begin to feed your body what IT NEEDS; not what your brain might be suggesting. One method to help create a successful outcome is preparing a few meals ahead of time. This way you don’t have to rely on a brain you may feel is being controlled by “SATAN!” Having a few meals satisfies the need for CHOICE and provides good options WITHOUT thought.
  3. Always remember the goal is BETTER HEALTH! We don’t have to worry how others view us, because the reality is we’re ALWAYS being judged. How can we combat these feelings?  Simple! Would you rather be the skinny person that dies at 60 years of age or the healthy person capable of doing whatever you enjoy in life with the possibility of living a long life? That question should help overcome the fear of judgement.
  4. Finally, get started today. You can create the rest of your schedule tomorrow if needed. Everyone has 5 minutes. This commitment to YOURSELF proves your SELF WORTH AND VALUE!
This is a basic outline to help beginners start a program. Each person will tweak it out and customize it to their preferences. If you want those breasts and prostates mentioned in the beginning of this article to remain healthy or regain a healthy status, you will take this advice.




  1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    I guess now would be a good time to tell you that I had a treadmill delivered to my home yesterday and love it! I also picked up a rack of weights, a bench, and installed an exercise floor in our finished basement. We live in New England and get tired of trying to make it to the gym in the winter which is close to 6 months here. Now I can save on a gym membership! I think everyone should make exercise a priority. They will feel so much better about themselves! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So proud of you. Setting a great example for others. Go enjoy the new equipment and share your experiences to help motivate others trying to follow your example.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. So many people say to me that don’t have time, but when we break down their day, they are always surprised how many more hours they have. These suggestions are really valuable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Karen. People seem to find the time to do the things they want to do. It is much more difficult (mentally) to create time to do something of little interest even if the activity is beneficial. It seems the closer we come to understanding and believing in mortality, the more we are willing to do to hold on to life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE our elliptical and being a selfish introvert, I enjoy that I don’t need to share it!

    I laughed so hard here: “How many times have you had an ice cream sundae in front of you and said, “Na, I’ll eat this delicious mouth watering dessert TOMORROW!” Lmao!

    The cartoon you found is so precious, too! Ah, Dr, J, you’re hilarious!! I’ll remember this article, because your humor makes reading it so enjoyable. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you have done a great job finding balance in life. You include diversified interests and activities in life and truly seem happy. Your positive energy can be felt from multiple geographic states away. You have probably helped more people find meaning and happiness than you realize.

      So glad you enjoyed the article. My topics are pretty monotone so I try to incorporate some humor to get people through the minutia and still provide some relevant information to help people improve the quality of their lives. Thank you for all your wonderful comments and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve learned that everything in life is a trade-off. If I want this, I have to give up that. If I want health, I have to give up flying by the seat of my pants type living. If I want good blood panels, I have to give up sugar and simple carbs. On the other hand, and definitely a more positive approach to trading scenarios is the trade that brings things into my life. I happen to love experimenting with new recipes, so I trade the ho hum dishes of old for new, exciting ones. I want my life to be rich with meaningful relationships, so I ask someone to walk or exercise with me, and we talk as we go along. I’m still making trades, but in the best of ways. It works, and I feel encouraged!

    Jonathan, I have a question for you today. I have a family member suffering from diabetic nerve pain in her femur. She has tried walking to exercise the leg and her lower back, but every time she does so, she hurts for two days. It is frustrating and slowing her progress. Can you recommend an exercise that would not cause so much pain, but would get her moving daily?

    Thanks for this post! Great information yet again!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, diabetic neuropathy usually is experienced in the muscle or (more commonly) the feet. When I see the word femur, I think of bone pain which can have other origins causing pain. If her doctor has confirmed that her pain is ONLY diabetic nerve pain, she can go into a pool to exercise. This would allow for range of motion and resistive exercises without contending with weight bearing and gravity. She should also be performing light stretching exercises for the low back, legs and torso. She should follow an anti-inflammatory diet and make certain her blood sugar is well controlled.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I think test results did confirm this diagnosis, although initially they told her neuropathy of the femur.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good advice to start small with a doable plan. I see it at the gym time and time again: the eager “newbie” working themselves into a hot mess every day….for 2 weeks. Then, they’re no longer coming. I think we can all fit in 10 minutes a day to start. The bottom line is we do make time for what’s important to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you said, it’s all about priorities. Kind of a shame that most people do not consider themselves a PRIORITY!


  6. This is absolutely paramount advice and well given because it happens.
    In the past I have failed at all attempts to improve my health because I went at it like a “bull at a gate” burnt myself out and lost interest. This time round, (I started training in April 2015) I was more considered and slower about everything. I took my time and progressed nicely. As you know I have not been since a bout of illness 5 or 6 weeks ago which has left me with a light headedness that never always goes, however after having my bloods done and getting the all clear there is no reason why I should not so the last three weeks have been a straight forward funk that I need to get over (along with a possible virus of some description) so tomorrow I visit my gym and speak to the owner who is also an NLP Therapist so understands a little more of the psyche than I do so will perhaps help me understand what is going wrong at the moment.
    Fingers crossed Cameron will be back soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most answers are usually found with TIME and PATIENCE. Good luck, buddy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is how I need to be. Patient and relaxed. Let it flow and I shall be well. Take time to find what is right. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. One day, a smart female doctor will invent the manogram. Just sayin’

    I think these are fantastic tips for someone just starting out. If someone new to exercise started with the program I’m doing currently (T25), I think many would give up. It’s hard enough to get started without choosing a program that makes you somewhat homicidal. The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do!

    Another thing I would add is that for people who are just starting out, you don’t necessarily need a program at first. You can incorporate small changes (getting off your public transit stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, parking at the back of the lot, taking the stairs, doing squats while you brush your teeth, standing up from your desk and stretching every time you hear a siren go by) that will incorporate more movement into your daily routine without feeling like you are exercising. Then, once your body gets used to moving more, an actual program can start. I think it depends on the base fitness level that someone is starting out at.

    Great post (as always)!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You make excellent additional exercise recommendations in your comments. The key remains (1) movement (2) repetitive patterns of healthy behavior. As we shift our current paradigm from sedentary living to active (quality) living our lives become more fulfilling. Everyone CAN achieve a better level of health. Everyone may not be WILLING, however, to commit themselves to the hard work it entales. This is a decision each individual needs to make for themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like my dad always used to say, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. On a 2nd reading, I noticed the fine print in the 1st 2 images. Hilarious. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will bet anything you were the only one to notice. Glad someone was able to get a good laugh! Stay well my friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nicholas/PebbleCreek · · Reply

    Great post and great replies. Now, all we need is a post that will inform us on how to find doctors that will help our bodies to heal. In this time of confusing transition of knowledge and thinking, most don’t clearly know what to think and how to do. Who are they? Where do we find them? What questions do we ask?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sorry for the delay in getting back with you…

      Regardless of title or accreditation, an INTERVIEW is needed to determine whether the physician is on the “same page” as you. A quality doctor offers guidance and options; he or she does not impose his or her beliefs. Traditional western medicine commonly follows a protocol addressing symptoms. Chronic conditions (at best) are maintained and typically worsen over time. This, in turn, is treated with even more prescriptions. Functional medicine uses a different approach. It’s analysis (exam) is typically more comprehensive seeking all aspects contributing to the UNDERLYING CAUSES of the condition/disease. If you are seeking this type of option, you can find doctors within a 30 mile radius of your location. These doctors can be found at: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

      Questions to ask are based on the goals you seek. In addition, find out how many cases (approx) these doctors have SUCCESSFULLY handled similar to your presentation. How long have they been using functional medicine to treat conditions like yours? What is the range in time frame improvement should be seen? What is the range in % of improvement that should be seen in this same time frame? What program will they design to maintain MMI (maximal medical improvement?) You may have your own questions you’d like answered, but I would ask this question as well: “What made you decide to study functional medicine in the first place?”

      This should give you a basic outline and a better feel for your doctor. You will understand his or her philosophy and approach to addressing your concerns. I wish you all the success possible. Feel free to ask any additional questions if any should arise.


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