It also strengthens the surrounding muscles, taking pressure off the injured area, which allows it to heal more quickly and reduces the chances of reinjury.Plus, it will allow you to return to your full workouts more quickly.See your doctor and let him or her guide you back into action.Is it physical pain?Or are you procrastinating for some other reason?Get at least 2 1/2 hours weekly of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of moderately high intensity exercise.Or do a combination of the two (for instance, 75 minutes of moderate and 38 minutes of moderately high intensity each week).Ideally, try to spread it out over five or six days a week.Alternatively, you can make sure that you take 10,000 to 14,000 steps a day.Of course, if you can do more, great.For even greater protection against chronic diseases and to further improve fitness, get 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (or 150 minutes of moderately high intensity) spread out over most days of the week.Or, again, do a combo of moderately high and moderate intensity.These guidelines for strength training also help the body beat back the effects of aging.Do a minimum of six different strength-training exercises that work the major muscle groups: abdomen, back, arms (biceps, triceps), shoulders, and legs (quads, hamstrings, calves).For each exercise, do at least two sets, eight to ten reps per set, at least two days a week--three days is even better.Ideally, three sets each (same number of reps), two or three times a week.Being "functionally fit" is having the strength and agility to get through daily life with ease.Functional fitness also makes the other types of exercise you do easier and helps protect you against injury.The exercises that improve functional fitness are primarily stretches, crunches, and other resistance exercises (such as arm and leg raises and trunk curls) that you do with or without weights.As a group, they increase your core strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination.To bring about important changes in your body--changes that benefit your heart, your lungs, and the healthy functioning of just about every other part of your body--you need to exert some effort.Those are especially helpful for people who have specific heart problems.However, I find that the Perceived Exertion Scale is easier to use and more accurate for the average person.This tool gauges how exercise feels to you, on a scale of 0 to 10.The optimum level of exertion is a 7 or 8.

It may take a while for you to work up to this intensity--or to maintain it for any length of time--but it will come.Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study of approximately six thousand men and women ages twenty-five to eighty confirms it: Over the course of a year, just a quarter developed any type of injury, and most of those injuries occurred while playing sports, not from walking or going to the gym.Any judge would throw that one right out of court.A good fitness option for many people is walking.It has a very, very low injury rate.Invest in a pedometer and follow the step-counting guidelines in the appendix.As you acknowledge your own ability and habit of covering up who you are, and as you begin to taste the freedom and fulfillment in honoring your entire being, powerful change is inevitable.What will unfold is your own complete emotional and mental potential, perhaps for the first time in your life.You can choose how and when to make these changes known to others whom you trust.But I will be encouraging you to begin looking for at least one person with whom you can begin to share your journey.As you step out of the prison of the perfect persona, you can discover the peace of self-acceptance and the strength within vulnerability.Taking these steps will require courage.It may be hard at first to trust that these changes are even helpful.What could be wrong with being thoughtful of others?Hopefully, Perfectly Hidden Depression will help you give yourself permission to do just that.Does this sound like you?That pit in your stomach is real.But that relief may be followed immediately by additional stress as you consider the idea that your PHD could end up on your never-ending list of things to "fix." Please stop right there.Be gentle with yourself.Allow yourself time, patience, and permission to make mistakes.Start out this reflection by opening your journal and taking a few deep breaths in a quiet, calm place.Ask yourself, What do I need to remind myself of every day about my healing work with perfectly hidden depression?Play with creating a mantra--a mental reminder of a positive goal or experience you want to have.Keep in mind that some of these behaviors and beliefs in moderation are healthy.Taken over the top, they can lead to PHD.

You Are Highly Perfectionistic and Have a Constant, Critical, and Shaming Inner Voice You expect the best of yourself at all times.You spend hours making something error-free, slave over handwritten thank-you notes for every small favor done, and work until late in the evening, long after the kids have gone to bed.In the United States, 17.3 million adults experience a major depressive episode in a year (National Institute of Mental Health 2019a), and suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among those ages ten to thirty-four (National Institute of Mental Health 2018).I truly believe that the only way we as a society are going to end the stigma and fear surrounding mental illness is by putting our names and faces on our stories.Realizing that our vulnerabilities are also what have made us into the complex, unique, beautiful human beings we are is the starting point to a more rich, fulfilling, connected life.The wonderful news?They got better.And you can get better too.Not pain--there should never be pain--just the discomfort that goes with exerting yourself.With physical activity, as with anything in life, when you hang in there, you reap the rewards.One thing you can learn from people who are successful is how to make the time.People who work exercise into their lives on a regular basis tend to have figured out how to be more efficient with their time.They do a lot of double duty.One of my favorite stories is about a guy I know who was so concerned about time constraints that he built a desk over his treadmill; he works while he walks.Find a way to work activity into things you already do.Think creatively.Get to bed earlier so that you can strength train before your kids get up.Trade babysitting with a friend who would like to get in a workout, too.Bear in mind, too, that as you become more fit, your energy and enthusiasm will rise so that you get more done at a quicker pace.There are higher-intensity workouts that give you good results with a minimal investment of time.More and more research is showing that vigorous interval training can give you the same results as three times the amount of moderate-intensity exercise.Interval training involves speeding up to almost a sprint for a brief period--anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes--then slipping back down to a moderate speed for either an equal amount of time or longer.You keep repeating the pattern, ending with a few minutes to cool down.One Australian study found that women who worked up to twenty minutes of interval training on an exercise bike three times a week lost about five and a half pounds of body fat in fifteen weeks.Other studies have shown that interval training for fifteen minutes three times a week changes the body in ways that help protect against diabetes and heart disease.

The only way you are going to know what you like is to experiment.But also keep in mind that different workouts work your body in different ways.Any exercise that you do is admirable, but if you want to really see changes in your body, you need to do a combination of exercises.Not only different types of aerobic exercise, though.To achieve true fitness, you need a three-pronged approach to exercise that includes these three elements: These are the different types of structured exercise you should perform.But unstructured exercise is important, too.Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking far from your destination so that you get in a little walking, getting up to talk to work colleagues instead of sending emails, walking rather than driving to the store--all these little things contribute to your overall fitness.If that informal type of inactivity is all you feel that you can fit into your life, I suggest that you purchase a pedometer, a small device that counts your steps, and aim to log a few miles that way.There are many different guidelines out there, and they keep changing.My recommendation to you is this: Gradually work up to exercising aerobically for approximately 6 hours (360 to 375 minutes) a week at a moderately high intensity.Moderately high intensity is an 8 on the scale.) At first, this may seem like a lot of exercise, especially when you consider how inactive most Americans are.But keep in mind that you can break up those 6 hours however you like and choose whatever kind of physical activity you enjoy.Cycling or walking for an hour six days a week would do it, or you could exercise on an elliptical trainer or swim for 75 minutes five days a week.One area where my recommendation varies from some of the other ones out there is that I suggest that you always try to exercise at a moderately high pace.During that time, you can simply exercise longer and slightly relax the pace.You might, for instance, walk at a pace of 6 or 7 on the Perceived Exertion Scale, but for 1 1/4 hours instead of an hour.Another way to get all the exercise you need for losing or maintaining weight is to count steps: Ultimately, your goal should be 18,000 steps a day.Although you may not be ready to do 6 hours of cardio exercise weekly right off the bat, I encourage you to aim as high as you can when you first begin.Make your first goal 90 to 150 minutes per week, or at least 3,500 to 10,000 steps, the minimum amount for disease protection.Also be open to the idea that physical activity can give you pleasure.Really!Let me propose this big one first.Exercise reduces the risk of just about every health problem, from stroke and cancer to diabetes and osteoporosis.The evidence that exercise helps to guard against cardiovascular disease, in particular, is very strong (you have half the risk of developing heart disease if you exercise), and researchers now believe that it offers protection in ways previously not known.When I asked an old classmate of mine who does research in this area, Michael J.Joyner, MD, a professor of anesthesiology at the Mayo Clinic, for an update, he said, "The ways exercise protects your heart go beyond traditional risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol.