Healthy concept , diet plan“He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.” — Chinese Proverb

While there are many things in life that you may not have control over, you can have control over how you treat and care for your body. Developing a healthy lifestyle that will take good care of your body requires paying attention to both diet AND exercise.

In light of this dual focus, perhaps the Chinese proverb ought to read, “He who takes medicine and neglects his (or her) body wastes the skill of his doctors.” While medicines can be an important part of treating conditions and getting and staying healthy, if you aren’t also actively taking care of your body, you’re missing out.

This article will help you focus a bit more on the exercise side of this equation. The truth is, exercise is different for everybody. The type, duration, and intensity of your particular exercise depends on your goals, your passions, your current level of health and what you enjoy—which is exactly how it should be!

The most important thing is not to compare where you are right now to where someone else is or to where you want to be in six months or a year. These kinds of comparisons will only lead to discouragement. Instead, know where you want to go, set achievable goals, start where you are, and be consistent.

It really can be that simple.

Regardless of whether you decide that basketball, hiking, biking, walking, running or pickleball is your “thing,” remember that stretching and strength training are essential components to integrate into any exercise routine. Whether you’re already active or just starting to develop an active daily lifestyle, here are two thoughts to consider:

• Pick activities that YOU find fun and enjoyable and start slow. If you’re not sure what to try, we’re happy to recommend our favorites, such as hiking, biking, running, basketball, and… you guessed it… pickleball. You are far more likely to stick to a routine if you’re doing something that you can look forward to.

• If you want to prevent injuries that will sideline you from your daily activities, proper stretching and strength training will help ensure you’re ready to hit the court (or gym, or road) strong day after day.

Since proper form in any strength exercise is important to maximize the benefits of that exercise and guard against injury, here are some tips from Dr. John on the correct form of some of his go-to exercises for strength and agility.

Squats: The first thing to remember with squats – DON’T start too heavy. It’s a surefire way to get injured fast.

  • Dragon Ups: This exercise is both hard and awesome. While dragon ups primarily work your core muscles, they also engage the hip flexors, adductors, deltoids, quads and hamstrings.
  • Planks: Planks are a great choice for protecting your spine and strengthening your abdominal muscles. They are super straightforward and have a number of variations.
  • Hammer Curls: Strong arms are important for maintaining a good pickleball swing as well as performing most of your daily activities. While curls are also pretty straightforward, good form is still important.

Don’t feel limited to these four exercises; they are merely a taste of some of the easy activities you can include in your daily routine to stay strong and injury free. The most important thing is to get outside and move. And be sure to have fun while you’re at it. For more healthy living tips to help you lead your best, most beautiful life, check us out on YouTube and be sure to Subscribe.