This article is sponsored by NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), an integrated healthcare delivery system serving patients throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Learn more about NorthShore at northshore.org.
Exercise is great medicine according to Carrie Jaworski, M.D., Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine at NorthShore University HealthSystem in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. An avid runner herself, Dr. Jaworski explains that exercise has benefits beyond just looking good. Regular exercise helps you carry out daily activities without undue fatigue and improves one's health.
But adding routines such as running to your life won't only increase your day-to-day energy levels; exercise can have a profoundly positive effect on your overall health. For example, being fit reduces risks of certain cancers, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. It also helps improve sleep and self-esteem.
As is true when tackling all new athletic activities, starting slow and sensibly are the keys to preventing injuries and ensuring you adopt fitness for the long run. Therefore, in order to help you put your best foot forward, Dr. Jaworski has compiled a list of fitness tips. From weekly exercise goals to what to drink and when to stretch, you'll find everything you need to know below.
- Aim for 30 minutes every weekday which can be split into three 10 minute sessions when starting off.
- Start with brisk walking and/or walking for three minutes, then running for one. Add more running to the ratio as fitness increases.
- Make sure shoes and equipment are appropriate for your sport and functioning properly.
- Stay hydrated with water before, during and after workouts. That’s especially true if you drink coffee or soda, because caffeine dehydrates you. An electrolyte drink can be added for longer or more intense exercise.
- Do a brief cardiovascular warm-up before initial dynamic stretching. Finish your workout with more stretching.
- Cross-train with aerobic exercise 3-5 times a week and strength training twice a week. Add a yoga class or flexibility training to round out your routine.
“Exercise helps almost every medical problem,” says Dr. Jaworski. "The most important advice is to find an activity that you love doing and then stick with it.”
For more information on how fitness can improve your quality of life and overall health, call NorthShore Physician Referral at (847) 570-5020.