Exercise Your Way to a Healthier You

Lee Ann Fields  |  5/23/2018 4:14:44 PM

If you could increase your quality of life, would you? Would you like to add extra years to your life? Dedicating just 30 minutes a day to exercise can do this for you and more! The National Institute on Aging states, “If exercise could be packed into a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.” Many of us wish exercise could be packaged in a pill form.

The number one excuse for people not exercising is — yes, you guessed it— time. That is one of my major excuses, of course: the weather’s too hot or too cold, too tired, and the list goes on! If there is something we really want to do, don’t we find a way to do it? Carving out just 30 minutes a day for exercise has many positive benefits.

There are so many benefits of exercise you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it. Exercise strengthens the heart and lungs. It keeps you from getting tired, helps you sleep better, protects against the start of Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers, helps control blood pressure, helps improve digestion and elimination. Research has shown people who exercise have a better memory, better reaction times, and better levels of concentration than non-exercisers. Exercise improves posture, coordination, and appearance. It improves our range of motion, mental alertness and self- confidence. Exercise also helps us cope with stress, depression and anxiety. The big bonus is exercise enhances your quality of life. It helps you lose weight and it helps maintain body weight. Can you believe exercise does all this? We are creators of habit. Once you get in a daily routine exercising it can become a habit! What is the best exercise? The one you’re going to do.

For all of you who are still convinced you don’t have time to exercise, break exercising into 10 minutes increments throughout the day for a total of thirty minutes. When I am watching TV I get some exercising in during commercials; arm curls, side bends, sit ups, or leg lifts, or anything that gets my heart rate up.

For overall fitness, incorporate aerobic, strength training and flexibility exercise into your weekly workouts. Aerobic exercise works your heart and lungs. Aerobic exercise includes walking, jogging, raking, swimming dancing, cycling, mowing (push-mower), elliptical, and treadmill. Have you noticed as you age you are losing muscle tone? Muscular exercise (strength training) helps us build and maintain muscle strength. It increases bone density and helps improve balance. Examples of muscular exercises are weight lifting and resistance machines. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program or adding weight training to your exercise routine. The key to weight training is getting the movements down correctly to prevent injuries. Flexibility exercises warms up the muscles, improves range of motion, and prevents muscle tightness. Examples of flexibility exercise are yoga and stretching. Always warm up the muscle before exercising and stretch after exercising.

When exercising, drink plenty of water before your start the work out in the middle and after the workout. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing. Cotton is great for absorbing moisture and drying quickly. Wear good support shoes, one that fits correctly and are comfortable. For the best fit, you may choose to go to a shoe specialist.

Other ways to get a few more steps in your day is to remember to create extra steps. Here are a few suggestions: park further away from your office, the grocery store, or any other place you have to drive to. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, use a push lawn mower instead of a riding lawn mower, wash your car instead of going to a car wash, and walk the dog. I am sure you can come up with many more ways to get moving.

Now, take the challenge to move more; I am! Getting a partner can help hold you accountable and achieve your daily exercising routine.

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