Assure Success, Prevent Frustration With Your Exercise Regimen

Assure Success, Prevent Frustration With Your Exercise Regimen

Assure Success, Prevent Frustration With Your Exercise Regimen

By Chad Thompson, M.S.P.T., O.C.S.

We are often asked in rehabilitation the value of various exercise videos, revolutionary equipment and new dietary programs. To aid our patients and the public at large, we attempt to educate individuals to certain pitfalls of celebrity-supported videos, equipment and dietary aids. We want our public to be well-informed consumers and to assure success and compliance with their exercise regimens. Therefore, this article will present a common sense approach to the purchase of exercise media.

The most common question expressed by our clients is, "Does this exercise media work?" Our answer, "Sure, they work well for those individuals portrayed in the video." This is not to say they will not benefit the consumer as well. With this advice: Choose videos with beginner, intermediate and advanced regimens and realize the celebrity, instructor and participants in the video are in shape and did not obtain these results overnight or by the regimen in the video alone.

Next, start slowly, a one-hour video need not be performed for the entire hour when beginning. Rule of thumb is cardiovascular and aerobic benefit will occur when the heart rate is elevated for a period of twenty minutes. Do not attempt activities beyond your ability. Look for videos and equipment that offer modifications to intensity for the prescribed program. Remember, the participants in the video generally have greater time and access to "workouts."

Be assured the celebrities representing the product are well paid and have the means to hire those who can strictly regulate their dietary and exercise programs. Do not get discouraged if you do not obtain the quick, overnight results promised in their testimonials.

Another rule of thumb: muscle and cardiovascular benefit from exercise are first seen between weeks three and four of activity. There is a lengthy period after the fourth week in which most people level out, or plateau. Additional results from exercise will not be realized until the tenth week of activity.

Finally, any equipment, video or dietary aid that promises results with less than 15-20 minutes of aerobic activity will certainly fail the consumer. Dietary supplements without regimented exercise programs are to be avoided. Equipment that propels the user through momentum offers little benefit to the consumer.

Our advice, choose a regimen beginning between 15 and 20 minutes of activity. Seek professional to help to regiment your program, learn to monitor your heart rate and be vigilant. Use this simple rule: exercise which elicits muscle soreness more than 48 hours is too intense. Soreness is normal and can reoccur but should not limit activity after 48 hours. If you experience lingering soreness, modify your program by decreasing exercise time or intensity. Take a day off and let your body recover. And lastly, be healthy and be safe.

Chad M. Thompson, M.S.P.T., O.C.S., is the director, KORT-Georgetown Physical Therapy in Georgetown, KY. Chad can be reached at

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