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For many people, exercise can feel like a daunting and overwhelming chore. There are so many articles, websites and blogs that discuss the nuts and bolts of exercise. There are so many distractions and sedentary behaviors that take us away from exercise. Looking through all the information, and trying to decipher which recommendations are right, which workout is the best, what exercises you are able to do, and which program will get you the best and quickest results, is enough to make the best-intentioned person want to throw in towel and retreat to the couch.

The Ornish philosophy is “If you like it, you’ll do it. So, do whatever activity you enjoy.”

There are four simple steps anyone can take to eliminate the confusion and move towards a healthier you.

Step One: Move More and Sit Less

It sounds like a basic idea, but how many people put this to daily use? In most cases, it takes a conscious effort to get in the habit of getting up from your desk and going for a walk, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. One way to make this easier is to identify the times in your day where you are sitting and inactive. The main culprits are usually sitting for hours at work or in front of the TV at night.

Step Two: Plan Activity During Inactive Times

There are a variety of ways you can remind yourself to be active. At work you can set an alarm or timer to remind you to take a walk every 20-30 minutes. At night when watching the television or on the computer you could climb stairs, do some push-ups or other exercises during the commercial. These little changes to your normal routine can go a long way to improve your fitness and help you to feel successful at being active.

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Step Three: Try Not to Complicate Your Exercise

For most of us with a goal of wellness exercise, it can be as simple as walking on most days of the week for 30 plus minutes or doing a half hour of simple strength training exercises several times per week. As long as we are doing more than our bodies are used to, we will become more fit. If you are accustomed to walking 20 minutes three times per week, add another day per week to improve. If you are comfortable walking about a 3.0 miles-per-hour pace try increasing to 3.2 or 3.4 miles per hour to challenge your body and improve your fitness. Take the complexity out of it and just make sure you are moving and challenging your body more than it’s used to and you will see and feel results.

Step Four: Avoid the Need to Find the Perfect Exercises or the Perfect Exercise Program

The perfect program doesn’t exist. If you search for perfection and can’t find it, you will surely feel discouraged. Strive to find what you enjoy and what provides you with results. A program alone will not provide you with results, yet most programs will provide results if they are safe and you do it regularly. Look into the mirror and ask yourself if you enjoy your exercises, your program and whether or not you’re getting results. If you answer yes to these questions then you’re traveling along a healthy fitness path. The more you move, the more you improve stamina, strength, and flexibility. The Ornish philosophy is “If you like it, you’ll do it. So, do whatever activity you enjoy.”

What methods do you use to make exercise simple and more attainable?

Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

Better Health Begins With You...

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