A physical fitness guide can help you reach your optimal fitness level, even if you have medical constraints. You don’t have to be able to run a marathon to achieve physical fitness. There are different workouts and nutrition guidelines so each of us can reach personalized goals, depending on our body composition, endurance, age, and medical constraints.
Start with Medical Recommendations
Before starting a new fitness program or a new diet, talk with your doctor about any medical issues that you have. You should get a yearly physical, so you will be aware of any medical constraints you may have (and learn how to work around them). Your health care provider should be able to help you with any specific dietary or exercise needs you may need to follow.
Exercise Regularly and Safely
Regular exercise can be beneficial for most health issues, and it can even help prevent certain diseases and health problems. However, you may need to modify exercises to make them comfortable for you, depending on your condition. Simple, low impact exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and aerobics are safe and healthy exercises for most people of all ages. If you have any medical constraints, avoid high-impact exercises to minimize your chance of injuries.
Pace Yourself with Low-Impact Exercises
Be sure to pace yourself when you are starting out, and don’t over-do it with strenuous activity that your body’s not prepared to sustain. Begin with non-strenuous workouts, such as 30 minute sessions of low-impact aerobics, swimming, or cycling for the first week, and intensify your workouts as your endurance increases.
Strengthen and Tone Yourself with Pilates
Strengthening exercises such as Pilates will help to elongate your muscles for a leaner, toned appearance, and they will improve flexibility and posture. You can find beginner Pilates classes, and talk with the instructor about modifying the exercises for your needs (to compensate for any medical constraints you have).
Relax with Yoga or Qigong
Relaxation practices, such as yoga and qigong, also provide many health benefits and are safe for most people. Your yoga instructor can help you modify any exercises that are not comfortable for you.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
A healthy diet is also an important part of a physical fitness program. If you are on a specific diet due to medical constraints, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations. A nutritional, well-balanced diet with foods from the basic food groups will help treat, and possibly even improve, most medical conditions.
Be sure to eat moderate portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, beans, and essential fats every day. Supplements might be recommended by your health care provider if you need extra minerals or vitamins due to medical conditions.