to start exercising
When it comes to excuses for
not exercising, personal trainers have
heard them all: I don’t have the time, I’m
too old, I’m not athletic, I’m recovering
from illness and I’m so out of shape it’s
not going to make a difference.
In fact, starting where you are has the
potential to make a world of difference,
according to Lisa Best, an Alberta Health
Service staff wellness consultant at the
Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in
“No matter how old you are – and
even if you’ve never exercised before
– it’s never too late to start,” she says.
“With a little effort, beginners can
expect to see improvements in energy
levels, cardiovascular health, posture,
Even if you’re recovering from illness
or you have limited mobility, exercise
can help improve strength and range
of motion for daily activities and
Best understands first-hand the
importance of maintaining good health.
In 2007, at age 38 and in the prime of a
competitive running career, she began
to have back pain. It turned out to
be third-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She was cleared after three months
of chemotherapy, a relatively quick
turnaround she credits to her high
“Life can change on a dime and you
never know when you might have to rely
on the strength of your body to carry you
back to good health,” she says.
The hardest step on the road to better
fitness is the first one. As always, check
with your health-care provider before
undertaking any program of increased
physical activity. Other tips:
• Choose an exercise that you enjoy to
keep you motivated
• Figure out when your energy level is
highest and whether you’d be happier
exercising with a group or on your own
• Start easy, with as little as 10 minutes
a day at an easy to moderate intensity
• Gradually increase your duration,
intensity, and the type of exercises that
you are doing as your body adapts to
your new exercise regime.
“The key to exercising is to make a plan
and act on it,” Best says. And once you’ve
started to enjoy the benefits, you’ll forget
all about the old excuses.