Health And Exercise Prescriptions ®

"Fighting Disease And Aging With The Best Medicine"


How long does it take to get back into shape?How much exercise do I need?

How long does it take to get back into shape? How much exercise do I need?

This is a common question and the answer is dependent upon your age,gender,starting state of physical condition, injuries, or special medical conditions. The general guidelines for a novice exerciser has three phases.The first phase is the Pre-prepcondition and then the  preconditioning phase;  that generally takes 3-6months and then general conditioning could take one to two years for most people.

Interesting Fact: The body regenerates it self anew every 8 years….the bones take the longest at 10 years. Changing your body is a slow process but, can be done.

Individuals need to start slow with their new exercise program so they do not get injured.When you are lifting free weights, doing your cardiovascular exercise or just stretching you should not feel pain. It is important to have the right program designed for your specific goal such as body fat loss, muscle gain, general health, or a specialized exercise program if you have any injuries or diseases.

A safe and effective exercise program uses a periodized regimen which allows the individual to slowly adapt to the new stimulus because most injuries occur when the body is not addressed in this fashion and to much weight or intensity is applied to the body. Let me explain the difference of each program type below Periodized and non-periodized exercise program.

What is the difference between Periodized and non-periodized workout regimen.

The definition of Periodized is a measured amount of time; in fitness they are cycles, Micro=1wk,Meso=4-6wks, Macro=1yr. Non-periodized has no specific schedule some people call this muscle confusion.Non-periodized exercise is used primarily for people who are in season for a particular sport so as not to interfere with their sports specific movement patterns. NOT EVERYONE IS TRYING TO BE AN ATHLETE SO SOME OF THE BOOT CAMPS AND GROUP CLASSES THAT ARE NON-PERIODIZED ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR NON-HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS; THAT WOULD BE A PERSON WITH PREVIOUS INJURIES OR DISEASE.

The body has to follow some rules of adaptation(change) and it all depends on the exercise you chose to do. The safest way to change your body is with a Periodized exercise program so that you control the amount of stress placed on your body.

The GAS or general adaptation syndrome describes three basic stages of response to stress= (AKA Exercise):

(a) the Alarm stage, involving the initial shock of the stimulus on the system,

(b) the Resistance stage, involving the adaptation to the stimulus by the system, and

(c) the Exhaustion stage, in that repairs are inadequate, and a decrease in system function results.


The foundation of periodized training is keeping ones body in the resistance stage without ever going into the exhaustion stage for each phase of training. By adhering to cyclic training the body is given adequate time to recover from significant stress before additional training is undertaken therefore you are less likely to get injured.

What does that mean for me? Here is an example of how that applies to cardiovascular Training and Freeweight training.

Cardiovascular fitness

If you are a beginner  you should start with 2-3 times a week 10-20 minutes of cardiovascular training for the first six weeks. Chose a walking route that is flat to start out.Every six weeks (Mesocycle4-6wks)you are going to change the amount of time and number of days per week that you do your cardiovascular exercise so now you will do 3-4days per week and 25-30 minutes. If you need more guidance check out this link to my last blog for a walk to run program.

Free weight Training

Using weight training to change your body is the most commonly used modality of exercise people are most familiar with.The same principles apply to weight training  as for your cardiovascular training every 4-6 weeks you should change your program. Make sure to work all of your major muscle groups; do not just do the exercises you like doing.  I encourage people to do free-weight training 2-3 times a week if you are a beginner. Start light and work your weights up every other week. Remember it takes time for your body to adapt so be patient with your body it will get stronger. If you feel a lot of muscle pain you are probably doing to much and or you are not doing the proper amount of stretching.To really see a change in your body I would say a minimum of 3-6 months will do for most generally healthy people.

Well that is just some of the basics of how to make sure you do not do too much exercise so that you do not hurt yourself.

If you need help to put together  youR own fitness plan let me know!

Thank you for your time and energy.

Jaime J. Hernandez

Health and Exercise Prescriptions Inc.   ©


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Hiking is exercise …Oyster Dome In Bellingham is not for the faint at heart… 6.5miles round trip….

Hiking is exercise….
Wow what a beautiful day to get outside and go for a hike. It feels great to be outside and doing what I love to do. If you want to see the details go to ……You should look up your local hiking routes and pick one to try out…

The trail starts off of Chuckanut drive SR11 mile marker 10. Drive careful there are a lot of bikers on the road and not much room.

Off of Chuckanut Drive SR11 mile marker 10

Chuckanut Drive SR11 Mile marker 10

The beginning of the hike starts at the Pacific Crest Trail Head.

Pacific North West Trail

Well to start off the incline is steep…so not a lot of warm up. I suggest stretching and warming up a little before you start.

The start of the accent to oyster dome...

Be prepared for a challenging hike!

Up, up, up you go….I promise the first 20 to 30 minutes will be challenging but, if you rest every 10 minutes or when you need to you, should be ok. I would really not recommend this hike for people who have not hiked up 3 miles of a hill in a long time. If you do cardiovascular activity 4 to 5 x a week and can at least do one hour you should be able to manage this hike. It took me about three hours to hike up and 2 hours to hike down.

There are some open breaks on the way up to the top.

Some open spots on the trail on the way up to the top!!

On the way up there is not a lot of time out side of the shadow of the trees. Here is one of the first spots that you will come out of the forest and see the Bay.

Wow a sit....sounds good

Wow a sit....sounds good

Well I hate to tell you that the easy part is over because it is…after this point the hill is much steeper and wetter. There is a lot of wood and rocks that are wet with some moss to make it even more slippery so be careful……..Make sure to wear the right shoes and pay attention to the ground so you do not slip or trip.

Don’t worry you have sooooo much to look froward to when you get to the top…………..

The first real view of the bay from the trail.

The first real view of the bay from the trail.

And now it gets real serious….the incline is steep for about 20-30 minutes…….I would recommend resting every 5-10 minutes. The ground is very rough with tree roots and slippery rocks riddled through the trail; you have to make sure to stay paying attention or you could roll your ankle.

More than halfway there and in the midst of the trees...smells so green and fresh.

More than halfway there and in the midst of the trees...smells so green and fresh

Well you are on your way………. what little treats do you have to look forward to?????….let me show you…..



Some of the creeks were soooooo cool….great sounds of water flowing down the hill-side….

Some difficult terrain to traverse...

Some difficult terrain to traverse...

Be careful climbing up some of the roots and wet rocks…….

Ok, now for all the hard work you have put in going up this hill……

Well I hope this hike was a great day of good weather and exercise. Remember to always pack the essentials in case of emergency and take plenty of food and water. If you have a knee, back problem, or any other disease or injury I would recommend getting clearance from your doctor, Physical therapist, or medical provider.

Thank you for your time and energy I hope you enjoy this trail.

Jaime J. Hernandez

Health and Exercise Prescriptions Inc.© CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE.

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Getting in shape is like an onion

I’ve found that getting back in shape is a lot like an onion. As you peel back the layers it can stink – and make you cry.

I’ve never been what you would call a prime physical specimen. I didn’t play sports as a kid because I can’t take the pressure of competition – especially because I lack anything that resembles hand-eye coordination.

But I tried to put all that aside, and slowly discovered an inner athlete who loves to challenge herself rather than others on the court or the field. I also discovered pretty quickly (by my early 20s) some quirks, like a cranky knee, that limited how far I could push myself.

Youth can make up a lot for things, like sore knees, the occasional pulled muscle or a kink in the back, but eventually youth deserts you – a lot sooner than you might expect.

Such was the case last week when I decided to hop on the elliptical trainer to squeeze in a quick 25 minutes between work and meeting friends. All was well until the next day when my right knee was sore, which was sore the next day, and the next.

I of course mentioned this to Jaime at our next appointment. I described my symptoms, and Jaime set to work to diagnose the culprit, which turned out to be my VMO, or vastus medialis oblique. This muscle is part of the quadricep and helps to keep the kneecap in place as it glides along the top of the joint. In my case, the VMO is underdeveloped and my kneecap isn’t tracking properly. Add to that a general (and hereditary) tendency to be knock-kneed, and it’s made for what I’m now realizing is a chronic knee problem.

Jaime prescribed for me exercises and stretches to help train the VMO to do its job. Until my knee heals a bit, some are too painful to do. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m not progressing as fast as I’d like in my training. Jaime has been great at suggesting fixes to help strengthen my weak spots, but it feels like just about everything’s a weak spot some days. I’m not about to give up because I can’t stand the though of slipping backward. Each time I do, it will be harder to pull myself forward again.

Like motherhood, like school, like getting up and going to work when you’d really rather just blow it off, being fit takes discipline even when you would really rather stay in bed. I see the payoff today when my “skinny clothes” fit once again and friends pay me compliments for sticking with my workouts – but it know the real payoff will be years from now when I’m still able to do the activities I love.

Hilary, Client
Health and Exercise Prescriptions


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