Physical Fitness = Goals


By Bren Boston, MD

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Our bodies can be molded to a certain degree by the foods we choose to put into our bodies combined with the targeted exercise we do centering on specific muscles. Our skeletons were not designed to have a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies thrive with a steady exposure to different types of activity, including aerobic exercises (like jogging, biking, hiking or swimming), resistance exercises (like free weights, weight machines, body-weight exercises like push-ups and squats), balance training (like single-leg yoga poses), and stretching (like yoga or hamstring stretching). The rewards of building a fitness routine into your busy schedule are many fold and include:

Energy – improved energy, endurance, decreased fatigue, improved sleep

Cardiovascular – reduced blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, reduced risk of heart attack, lowering your cholesterol

Mood – improved neurotransmitter production, release of feel good endorphins

Bone density – improves bone mineral density, so important for women because bone mineral density peaks at age 30 and declines from there

Lean muscle mass – as we age, our lean muscle mass decreases and is replaced by fat, unless we actively build and maintain muscle

Improved blood sugar regulation – active muscles help pump sugar into the muscle where it is turned into energy, removing it from the blood stream

Reduced stress – burning extra sympathetic nervous system tone, balancing with parasympathetic

Improved back pain – core strengthening and gluteus maximus (buttock) strengthening creates a muscular corset which offloads the lumbar spine and pelvis

Reduce likelihood of future falls – balance training, muscle memory

Stretching – improves tissue elasticity and flexibility, reduces likelihood of injury, improves blood circulation

If you think that you dread exercise, then perhaps you just need to try some new options. Not everyone loves a gym atmosphere. Consider taking a tennis lesson, hiking on a beautiful trail with a friend, walking on the beach at a brisk pace, biking on a bike path, taking a dance class, trying a circuit training class with great music, walk up multiple flights of stairs in a tall hotel or office building, or trying an aerial yoga class. Even if you love to exercise, your body will benefit from mixing up the types of exercise in which you participate. Let’s all make a goal of exercising for at least 4 days a week this month! Ready, set, go!

Dr. Bren Boston is the Director of Pain Management and Sports Medicine, you can make an appointment with her by calling us at 310-451-8880 or emailing us at