How To Adjust Your Body To Exercise

Why Your Body Is Already Willing And Able To Make The Transition To A More Active Lifestyle

By Jeffrey Rothman, MA, OTR
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Your Innate Ability

You are ready to get started exercising and you are not confident about what you can do. Truth be told, I could motivate you right now to do an outrageous workout, perhaps run a marathon.

It is simple. I'd give you $5,000 for the first mile run, $10,000 for the second and go on from there. This, of course, would not be a wise plan.  Tomorrow, while counting your riches, your body would be a mess.

Your calves would be on fire, your low back would hurt, and it's possible that you would have done permanent damage somewhere. Obviously, this would not be the best way to begin a workout program. 
Your Body's Internal Balance

Your body is constantly modulating between what is possible and what is sensible. If you were out in the wild, and you happened upon a bounty of food, and got out of shape for lack of need to hunt, and then one day, a lion strolled into your oasis, you would run that marathon and suffer the soreness and chronic pains later.

That is not the position that I want you to put yourself in. I want to guide you slowly out of your oasis of fast food, elevators and automobiles. As your body begins this journey, it will train itself to hunt and forage, to become accustomed to the wild, before that first adrenaline pumping chase.

The First Phase
During this phase, a few physiologic things are happening. Your body quietly adjusts to its new circumstances. Your heart will become more efficient at pumping blood. Your muscles will be traumatized on a micro level and rebuild themselves in a stronger fashion. Your bones will begin to absorb more calcium.

Your body will take the new input that you are giving it, and reallocate your energy resources. A parallel process will begin in your brain as neurotransmitters re-balance their proportions to reward you for your new activities, rather than reward your stinginess with your energy resources.

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Jeffrey Rothman is an Occupational Therapist, practicing in West Palm Beach Florida. Jeffrey assists people to return to their productive lives after illnesses, injuries, and surgeries. He takes a particular interest in shoulder rehabilitation, pain management.  Please email Jeffrey;  he welcomes your comments and questions. 

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