Get Off the Couch This Father's Day
By: Rick Henriksen, M.D. | Jun 16, 2012 11:00 AM
It wasn’t that long ago that being fit and making time to exercise wasn’t a priority for me. My childhood was full of team sports, hiking and camping with my family, but as an adult, school and work took over and exercise got sidelined. I was a bit over-weight and tired easily.
This all changed when some friends invited me to train for a triathlon one summer. I was ONE OF THE LAST to finish, but loved every minute of it. I felt great and thrived off the energy of being with a group of active people having fun. From that point on, I turned things around and made exercise a priority.
I think it’s a great message for dads this Father’s Day because getting in shape is the best gift any dad can give himself or his family.
Each patient is different, so I really try to find out what works best for them. Generally, everyone can swim or go for a walk.
Here are my tips for becoming more active:
- Keep the diet simple— NO sugar and eat lots of veggies. This is a great starting point . Once you’re comfortable with this food plan, you can make even more changes.
- Start with something you enjoy doing and success will follow. Consider, what kind of activity you liked as a child and begin with that. For example, if you loved bike riding , start biking again.
- Blend social time with exercise. Find motivated friends or family to work out with.
- Working out at the same time each day in an environment you enjoy will make exercise a part of your daily routine.
- You do have time; be creative and cut out less important things. I worked 80 hours a week as a resident so I exercised either early morning, late evening, or at lunch. If it was dark outside, I rode my stationary bike while watching my favorite television show. Rearrange your priorities and ask the question, “How important is my health?”
- Be realistic. If you want exercise to be a long-term commitment, start slow and increase gradually. A lot of people make the mistake of starting off with more exercise than they can handle and end up losing motivation.
- If you get bored, switch to a new sport. Mix it up.
- Participate in play with your kids while outside; kids in active families—not just scheduled activities—usually grow up to be active adults.
About the author:
Dr. Rick Henriksen is a family practice physician. He works at the Madsen Clinic and is interested in helping his patients live an active and healthy lifestyle.comments powered by Disqus