There’s air conditioning, hair conditioning and, lately, err-conditioning. A new study in the journal Obesity found that in the past year, folks have become even more sedentary (in prepandemic years, 60% of Americans were inactive). Both intensity of and time spent doing exercise has decreased, and almost 28% of the study’s participants fessed up to gaining weight.
As a remedy, a recent commentary in The Lancet suggests 2021 become the year of reconditioning. Echoing our POV, it says, “many of the changes previously blamed on disease or (aging) are in fact due to inactivity and a loss of fitness.” Clearly, this past year has prematurely aged people of all chronological ages. So here’s your five-step reconditioning plan.
1. Set a monthly walking goal. For example, walk 3,000 steps daily in month one; add 1,000 steps monthly, up to 10,000 a day in month 10. That gives time to build endurance (you can always exceed your goals). To determine walking equivalents for cycling, swimming, etc., Google “Earlham Activity Conversion Chart.”
2. Increase your exercise intensity using interval training. (See DoctorOZ.com, “9 HIIT Exercises to Get Fit.”
3. Adopt a strength-building routine two to three days weekly. See DoctorOz.com, “10 Strength Training Moves for Beginners.”
4. Stretch 20 minutes daily. Go to health.clevelandclinic.org; search for “stretching.”
5. Keep workouts varied and flexible so you avoid injury and don’t get bored.
Once you do that — apologies to singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury — it will blow your mind when you “see what condition your condition” has become!