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  • Writer's pictureBrandy Robinson

My Disney Diet Diary Chapter 3 "Make a Plan - Exercise"

Now that we have measured where we are and have determined where we want to be, it’s time to plan the “how”. The first plan we’re discussing today is “Exercise.” Why do we have to plan exercise? Well, I’m remembering about that semester in college where I went to Guatemala to study Spanish and Medical Terminology. When I came back to the USA, my dear friend exclaimed, “BRANDY what happened to you there – you look like you just came back from a concentration camp!” I considered that I did not have to “plan” exercise in Guatemala like we do here. When I was abroad, I ate well until I was full but was never on a diet. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that being in Guatemala was a huge lifestyle change for me. They have cars there – but I never rode in one. If I had somewhere to be, I used my own 2 feet to get there. Don’t get me wrong, if someone had offered me car service, I would have used it, but the people of La Antigua walked everywhere all day long – to the market, to school, to work, to church. The only thing I “rode” in Guatemala was the bus to get from the airport to the town.

And now back in Texas my lifestyle went back to the usual which consisted of driving to work, driving my kids to school, driving to the grocery store, etc. It is so darn hot in Texas that it is not practical to walk to any of those places (unless you’re willing to arrive at work soaking wet with sweat). Exercising is something that needs to be planned in Texas. You have to “Plan” to drive to the gym. You have to “Plan” to do work outs at home. You have to “Plan” to get up at 5 AM to exercise outside in Texas or anywhere in the South. Now maybe my readers in the north do not need to “Plan” exercise, but my patients here in Texas do.

I encourage my patients to start with small steps when beginning an exercise program. And by steps, I literally mean steps. The easiest exercise you can do is to put one foot in front of the other and walk. No gym membership? That’s good because all you need are shoes. You can walk anywhere! Inside your house, outside your house, in the shopping mall, at work, etc. Just start walking until you get tired. Now you can time yourself or you can use technology to count your steps. And then the next day, make a mindful decision to beat the time or number of steps taken the previous day. Did you walk for 10 minutes on Sunday? Well walk for 15 minutes on Monday. Increase your minutes walked or steps walked to a goal of about 30 minutes or 10,000 steps per day, 5 days a week. Did you beat that goal? Ok how about jogging or running now? Do you want to get stronger? Add some weight training.

In addition to actively pushing your physical goals for yourself, what about involving someone else in your journey? Having a buddy to exercise with is great because it makes you accountable when you don’t feel like working out. It is easier to exercise with a team instead of alone. If you do not have a buddy or family member, how about a personal trainer? There are also several blogs and groups of people who are just like you and want to get healthier. You’re reading my blog! You have a friend in me (Toy Story in my Blog of course)! I am in a group on Facebook that has amazing women in it who are “Stepping Into a Healthier Lifestyle.” They encourage me and don’t even realize they are doing it!

My current exercise plan is using my FitBit to increase my daily steps. It reminds me to move every hour and keeps track of my steps. My goal is 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) and if I can do that, I might be able to walk from the Magic Kingdom Entrance back to the Barnstormer rollercoaster without passing out! My daughter is working out with me 2 days a week doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) via a YouTube channel called EMKFit (I think she is a Disney fan too because I rocked out a High School Musical Dance with her).

I like that EMKFit gives low intensity cues for people like me who are trying to get back in shape. On the other 3 days of the week, I am dancing to Zumba music because y’all know how I love dancing! My workouts are about 20 minutes each so far. I hope to slowly increase my time until I am at 30 minutes/5 days per week.

I also wanted to mention the importance of physical therapy along with exercise. I know many of my patients make weight loss plans and as soon as they start exercising, there goes their back, or now there is foot pain, etc. It is especially important to stretch, and if you have physical therapy exercises for a known problem, make sure you do those exercises and stretches in tandem with your work outs so that you do not suffer any relapses of back or joint pain. Make sure you follow any guidelines given to you by your therapist or your doctor.

What kind of exercise goals are you thinking about? Do you have a buddy or an exercise community? Comment below and let me know what kind of fitness exercises you are doing.

Until next time –

Dr. Brandy 😊

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