Choose To Act On Your Health, Or Risk Being Acted Upon

26th Apr 2024

Posted by Lynn Perkes MS, AT, PTA on

Choose To Act On Your Health, Or Risk Being Acted Upon

Human nature can be an interesting study, so to speak, and many avenues of investigation could be pursued. One of those that is of particular interest as it pertains to health is that many of us do not act to implement strategies of health promotion in our personal lives until such time an event or circumstance provides a strong motivator that compels us to act. Of course, at this point, we are not really “acting”, but rather are being “acted upon.”

In what seems like a former life I had the privilege to work with young people in an educational setting. One of my many enjoyable experiences in this setting was working in conjunction with students to design and implement strategies directed at motivating college aged students to obtain various health screens. After all, if a person does not know that they have a “health issue”, human nature is to not act upon the unknown, a kind of out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality. And I guess this can be logical considering the myriad “issues” that could impact an individual during the course of his or her life.

Let’s consider one example, that of a basic lipid profile – a person’s total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides levels – which can be obtained from a simple finger stick drawn blood analysis.

Will a young and otherwise healthy individual likely engage in strategic cholesterol improving interventions without knowledge of abnormal and increased risk producing blood values? Maybe, but usually not. And yet, if a person were to obtain data about their blood cholesterol values that place them at significant risk for future cardiovascular disease, would they be more likely to “act” before the manifestation of the disease? Hopefully they would.

If they chose to “act” because of this sudden increase in relevant awareness as to their risk, that risk can be significantly reduced or eliminated. Consider that they would likely have years and decades for the health promoting interventions to be in effect, significantly reducing their risk.

If they chose “not to act” they face the real possibility of being “acted upon” at some future date with all the potential consequences that can accompany a loss of health, especially as the risk factors will have years and decades of time of consequential accumulation and summation.

So, the first part of this article is simply a call to action. I encourage you to make the time to engage in assessments/screenings, etc. of important health factors to identify any potential risks that you could then act on to reduce your risk. If no risk factors are identified – great. But of course, the recommendation is to then take a preventive approach to your health and wellbeing which will ultimately provide for a greater quality of life – the ability to go-and-do with greater vigor and vitality. This then leads to the second part of this article . My simply providing a potential exercise program (home based and with little needed equipment and linked to goals) that could be implemented to “act” and in so doing being proactive in your health promotion activities for a greater quality of life.

A Convenient Home Exercise Program with Minimal Equipment and Time

I think many of us have hopes for enhanced nutritional intake and regular exercise programs among other goals in 2024. We know that both of these can be very beneficial to our physical and emotional health and well-being. I believe it’s also fair to say that there are several obstacles in the way to our successful achievement of these two worthy goals. For many of us, one such obstacle has to do with the element of convenience. If nutritious food and snacks are readily available at home and in the work environment, we are much more likely to make a healthy choice. I also believe that in similar fashion, if exercise is convenient and easily available – in location and available equipment, we are much more likely to engage in it on a consistent basis through the wise use of our time.

Specific to exercise, and I think the Covid pandemic helped spur this on, home based exercise is one solution that addresses the “convenience” of exercise as a way to “get your exercise in”. If one of your exercise goals is to achieve significant strength gains, then it might be more difficult to achieve at home unless you are lucky enough to have sufficient heavy weights and appropriate “racks” to accommodate lifts like the squat and bench press. The focus of this article is to present information where a comprehensive workout could be achieved with minimal exercise equipment and weights in the convenience of your home – while ensuring that each major muscle group is exercised, and a cardiorespiratory stimulus achieved. This of course, could be achieved via various regimens, using different exercise tools, and with the adaptation of any individual’s creativity. Hopefully the information presented here will serve as a basis from which to modify its content to fit your specific goals and preferences.

The information presented in this article is based in the context of a 15-30 minute workout time frame (maybe even possible at work depending on your circumstances), considering that many individuals are hard pressed with time constraints in their busy lives. Specific to a home based exercise program, this routine will be performed using limited exercise equipment, specifically 1 kettlebell, 2 dumbbells, an exercise band , and of course a floor and a chair. The routine presented here is designed to facilitate muscular strength changes that promote health, development and/or maintenance of lean body mass, and sustaining of resting metabolic rate for body composition purposes.

A Few Basic Guidelines to Facilitate our Efforts

1.The amount of weight of the kettlebell and dumbbells you select to use will of course be determined by you according to your current strength and fitness level. Further, when selecting the amount of weight of a resistance (kettle bell, dumbbell), it should work muscles causing them to become fatigued at the completion of the set, making the last reps uncomfortable and somewhat difficult to complete. Here are some helpful guidelines:

  • Select a kettlebell weight that will challenge you in performing squats and shrugs, with a goal of performing a set for 45-60 seconds (taking around 2 seconds for the upward lifting phase and 2 seconds for the downward lowering phase). From this, determine the number of reps performed.
  • Select dumbbell weights that will challenge you in performing biceps curls, triceps press, shoulder abductions , and lawnmower pull exercises, with a goal of performing a set for 45-60 seconds (taking around 2 seconds for the upward lifting phase and 2 seconds for the downward lowering phase).From this, determine the number of reps performed.
  • Select an exercise band resistance level that will challenge you in performing 10-15 reps per exercise.

2.If possible, as you increase in strength and stamina, consider performing this routine 2 times each day and/or increasing the resistance.

3.After some trial and error at selecting the number of reps per exercise you will perform (based on the recommended speed of your up and down reps completed in the 45-60 second time period), write in the column space the number of reps you will perform as part of your workout. Progress your workout by increasing the resistance you use to accomplish what is stated above.

Your Personal and Progressive Program

Just start, get going, and make it happen with your personal adjustments that work for you. Be creative if or when you want to change things up, whether that be because of personal preferences, time limitations, physical limitations, etc. As you progress into your program, don’t be hesitant to make some changes and customize your own exercises – be creative in finding new ways to work the major muscle groups of the body.

The human body was designed to be worked and will grow and adapt and even be remodeled in certain ways according to the stresses and strains habitually placed upon it. And remember, the lack of appropriate stress and strain to the body will yield the undesirable consequences which can unfortunately, decrease our ability to “go-and-do” all those wonderful things that a fit body is capable of doing. Success to you.

Exercise (Exercise Tool)               Set      Reps (TBD by you) Primary Muscles Worked
Push-ups (Floor) 1-2    
Pectorals (maj & min), Triceps, Ant Deltoid, Scapular Protractors (Pectoralis Minor and Serratus Anterior)
Squats (Kettlebell) 1-2                    
Gluteals, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Back Extensors, Gastrocsoleus Complex
Biceps Curls (Dumbbells) 1-2 Biceps, Brachialis, Brachioradialis
Overhead Triceps Press (Dumbbell) 1-2 Triceps
Side Planks, Chair hip flexion, Plank on therapy ball, etc. (Floor, chair, exercise ball) 1-2 Abdominals
Shoulder Abductions (Dumbbells) 1-2 Deltoids Upper Traps as stabilizers
Shrugs (Kettlebell) 1-2 Scapular Elevators (Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapula)
Lawnmower Pulls (Dumbbell) 1-2 Lats, Post Deltoid, Scapular Retractors (All Trapezius and Rhomboids)
Hip Flexions (Exercise Band) 1-2 Hip Flexors (Iliacus and Psoas Major) Abdominals as stabilizers
Dips (Chair) 1-2 Pectorals, Anterior Deltoid, Coracobrachialis, Scapular Depressors (Pectoralis Minor, Lower Trapezius)

Most importantly, if you have yet to start a program, just do so now. Have fun doing it, learn “things” along the way that will provide awareness and motivation, and enjoy the wonderful benefits of a body more capable of “going and doing”. sells various exercise equipment to assist you in reaching your fitness goals. Below are links to some of the weights and exercise equipment discussed for use in this article.

Exercise Mats§ion=product



Exercise Bands

Exercise Balls