Designing an Exercise Program to Avoid Disuse Syndrome: The Who

In my last blog post, I discussed disuse syndrome and what can happen to the mind and body if people lead a sedentary lifestyle.

In these next few posts, I will be discussing what you can to do get moving again, even if you are in chronic pain.

Exercising for yourself—and no one else—will help make you successful.
Exercise and Fitness to Help Your Back

Specifically, I will be discussing the who, what, when, where, and why of getting moving.

Exercise as a behavior

Think of exercise as a behavior.

Like many other behavioral programs, you can think in terms of who, what, when, where, why, and how often (not necessarily in that order).

See Exercise and Fitness to Help Your Back

The following are ideas for the general process of designing a successful exercise program.

First let’s start with the “who”

By this, I mean it’s necessary to get involved on a personal level. The “who” is you. You have to be personally convinced that what you are doing is good for you, and you have to be involved in all aspects.

See Specific Exercise Strategies

This will include such things as:

  • Becoming educated about the importance of exercise
  • Determining goals (small steps)
  • Determining a starting point
  • Figuring out how to assess progress
  • Deciding how to determine when to proceed to the next “stage”
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Once you are convinced you are doing it for you and not for your doctor, your partner, your physical therapist, or anyone else, you are on the path to exercise success.

And now for the other “who”— your exercise partner

It can often be useful to have an exercise buddy or to join a class.

You may be more likely to stick with an exercise program if you join a class.
How Exercise Helps the Back

When working out with a partner you should try to choose someone with a similar fitness level.

If you are just getting back to exercise, working with an experienced partner will be frustrating and will increase the likelihood of discontinuing.

See Abdominal Exercises and Back Exercises - Getting Started

Studies have demonstrated individuals are less likely to continue their program if they exercise at higher intensities too soon. Likewise, long workouts are also associated with higher dropout rates.

See Physical Therapy after Spinal Fusion: Weeks 6 to 9

The "what," "why," and "where" of exercising

In my next post I will discuss the “what,” “why,” and “where” of exercise to get you on the path to turning your sedentary lifestyle into an active lifestyle.

Learn more:

Easy Exercise Program for Low Back Pain Relief

Exercise and Back Pain