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10 Fitness Tips from Dr. Haas

10 Tips for Fitness from Dr. Elson Haas

Of course, the suggestions here relate to your own state of health and abilities. Adjust your various activities if you are just starting a new program. Enhance and build as you can and try new exercises. After the 10 Tips, I share my current weekly program as an example.

  • Exercise is an important key for good health
  • Find balance in your program
  • Plan to do 7-10 hours a week
  • Have indoor and outdoor activities
  • Use weights for muscle strength
  • Do 30-60 minutes of cardio activity weekly
  • Walking is great way to exercise
  • Exercise is especially important during adolescence and aging
  • Watch out for over-exercising and injury
  • Regular exercise is the best stress reducer

1. Exercise is an important key for good health and number two after a wholesome complete diet in my 5 keys to Staying Healthy. We need a balanced and sensible lifestyle for optimal fitness. Remember, good sleep, lowering stress and a healthy attitude make up the rest of the Key 5.

2. Find balance in your program. The different parts of your exercise program include: weight work for strength; cardio exercise for endurance, and stretching for flexibility—this all leads to feeling good, and being fit and relaxed.

3. Plan to do 7-10 hours a week for your whole exercise program. Commit to an hour to 90-minute workouts 5-7 days a week. And stay active in your daily life. Hike, garden and clean house.

4. Have indoor and outdoor activities so you can keep up your workouts no matter what the weather. Just as with your eating plan, adjust your activities with the seasons. Is it the gym, home or outside activities that you enjoy most?

5. Use weights for muscle strength, and it also supports bone and brain health. Yoga can also build and tone muscles. Be educated about proper use of weights, and initially have a trainer guide you in a balanced and appropriate set of exercises for you.

6. Do 30-60 minutes of cardio activity several times a week for endurance. This helps our circulation and allows sweat and detox to keep the body healthy.

7. Walking is a great way to exercise, relax and see your local world as well as explore the many beautiful places on planet Earth. If walking is your main exercise, also do some upper body weights or toning with various exercises.

8. Two important areas of life where it is especially important to exercise and getting your body fit. The first time is during adolescence when we can get our weight and develop our body that often continues for life. Then, in menopause for women and general aging for men, when it’s much easier to gain weight and get out of shape.

9. Injuries can occur and limit your entire exercising, so use caution and wisdom with your activities. Injuries can occur more often and easily when we have one primary exercise we do, like running or tennis or golf as common examples, the latter two being what I call “one-sided sports” and can stress the shoulders, knees or low back. That’s why a variety of activities is safer for not stressing one area of the body. “Accidents” occur less frequently when we stay aware and present.

10. Regular exercise is the best stress reducer and an essential treatment for anyone with depression. Studies suggest regular exercise works as good or better than drugs. It also creates endorphins, the “feel-good” brain chemicals. So, to stay young and healthy and positive about life—exercise regularly using many of the tips included here.

Check out my own weekly exercise plan below

Dr. Elson’s Weekly Exercise Plan

Days, Times & Activities


Morning – 8 Elementals Stretching* and Qigong

Afternoon – 2-hour program Spin and Swim includes Weights, Spin class, Stretch and Swim


Morning – 8 Elementals Stretching and Qigong

Lunchtime – 75-90  minute break from PMCM at the local YMCA for Racquetball with a few weights  and stretches 


Morning – 8 Elementals Stretching and Qigong

Afternoon – Gardening or have a massage and go outside for a bit


Morning  – 8 Elementals Stretching and Qigong

Afternoon – Racquetball and Weights/Stretch


Afternoon – 8 Elementals Stretching and Qigong often as a class with my teacher, Spiritboxer

Evening –  May include dancing for 90 minutes or so 2-3x/month                                         


Morning – 8 Elementals Stretching and Qigong

Midday – Gym for Spin and Swim or sometimes just a combo of cardio, weights, stretching and swim


Morning – 10-12 Free-style Dance gathering with stretching first                                                

In General

Breathe and relax every day to stay centered and calm to your core. This doesn’t mean denial or avoidance but the ability to not have external dramas interfere with your inner peace.

*The 8 Elementals is a set of Taoist Longevity Exercise, energizing the meridians, lubricating the joints and activating the respiration. This opens the physical body so the energy can move freely while calming the mind.

Elson Haas, MD.

Integrative Family Medicine Physician, Author and Educator

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