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    Making Changes
    Henry S Lodge, MD posted:
    You realize it's time to change some habits, and you're wondering how to get started.

    While some people can slowly and gradually take on new routines by dipping their toes in the water, this is rare when it comes to exercising -- and I don't usually recommend it. If you're not where you want to be in terms of your physical fitness, you're better off jumping into the deep end of the pool. There's a bit of a shock value to it. But once you start moving, you'll adapt quickly and feel better, faster.

    Of course, before you make any major changes in the amount of physical activity you take on, talk with your doctor to be sure you're healthy enough for vigorous exercise. In fact, the moment you stop reading this blog, get on the phone and schedule that doctor's appointment. Then mark the day after as "Starting Day" on your calendar. You're never going to "find time" to exercise. You'll have to change your priorities and make time. This means you're deciding that you are actually going to get in great shape and commit to at least four days a week for exercise.

    The same is true for your nutrition. I'm never a fan of formal diets. But you can make some dramatic changes by giving up starchy foods and sweets, for instance. After the first couple of weeks you really won't miss your old habits. You'll notice that your daytime energy has increased and lasts much longer than when you were on the sugar swings of a standard American diet.

    The main point here is don't wait! Start getting fit today! What's stopping you?
    Ganesh responded:
    As someone who started two days ago by getting into the deep end of the pool, both in terms of workout and nutrition changes, I feel so much more energised than ever before. At 43, I was beginning to look and feel 60, which wasn't doing much for my self-esteem or my overall fitness levels, in no particular order.

    As the organisation I worked in started layoffs earlier this year, it became a challenge to control the stress-related psoriasis that started to further erode my self-esteem and made me very self-conscious, not just about looking unfit but also about looking "different" with the skin inside my ears flaking and itching all the time, making me go mad with irritation all through the day.

    It's only the third day, I'm following a rather strict exercise and diet regimen, nothing too radical. The exercise workout is a 4 km brisk walk, followed by 300-500 skips with a skipping rope preceded by a lot of stretching exercises. The diet is a sensible diet, vegetarian as I always am, lots of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, some dairy and water every 2-3 hours.

    I weigh 186 lbs for a height of 170 cms, which is about 35 lbs more than I ought to weigh. The goal is to get fit, get my cardio going to a point where my heart rate isn't off the charts and to lose the extra pounds. Wednesday, November 14 was my "Starting Day". Thanks for the post and for the advice.

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