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Exercise Does a Body Good

You go to the doctor for your yearly physical and are told your weight gain has put you in the overweight category according to your BMI. Your doctor suggests adding exercise into your daily routine. You cringe. Not exactly your favorite word.

Exercise or daily physical activity, does not have to be something to dread. In fact, it can be as easy as chasing the kids around the park or dancing around the house while you clean. The ASCM and AHA recently released new physical activity guidelines for those aged 65 and under:

   Moderately intense cardio, 5 days a week,
       for 30 minutes OR

   Vigorous intense cardio, 3 days a week,
       for 20 minutes

   AND 8-10 strength exercises, 2 days a week,
       completing 8-12 repetitions

What does vigorous mean?

What if I don’t like going to the gym? What if I don’t have 30 minutes at one time? What is something fun I can do so it doesn’t feel like exercise? These are just a few questions health professionals are asked on a regular basis.

Vigorous - When your heart rate is increased significantly to the point it is hard to have a conversation. Activities such as running, swimming laps, jumping rope, and most competitive sports are vigorous.

Moderate - Your heart rate is noticeably beating faster, but you can still converse with others. Some activities that are considered moderate are casually biking, walking briskly, light snow shoveling, and playing with children.

Exercise does not have to be completed all at one time, nor does is have to be done at the gym. Exercise can be done in short bouts around your house. For example, walking outside 10 minutes two times a day and completing 10 minutes of yard work equals thirty minutes.

Vigorous and Moderate Exercise

Additionally, finding an exercise that you will stick with is important. If you dread waking up at 6 am every morning for your 3 mile run, is it something you are going to stick with? Most likely the answer is no. Getting daily physical activity can be done in groups, as household chores, or as a family outing.

Here are just a few ways it can be done:

   Mopping or vacuuming the floor


   Family walk or bike ride


   Taking a lap around the office

What about resistance exercise?
Is it really necessary for everyone?

Resistance exercise is important for everyone and helps increase lean body mass thus boosting overall calorie burn. It helps develop strong bones, reduce risk of injury by helping improve balance, and increases stamina.

Resistance Exercise

There are many ways to perform resistance exercise besides using weights at the gym. For example, you can perform squats and lunges, use resistance bands, do pushups, or planks. Additionally, you can use household objects such as cans of vegetables or those bocce balls in the garage.

So if I take 30 minutes five times a week to do physical activity how is it going to benefit me?

Exercise has many benefits, not only does it help a person physically, but it benefits a person mentally and emotionally as well. Exercise helps a person maintain or lose weight, reduce blood pressure, decreases the risk of osteoporosis, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduces stress, and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So, if I’m actually going to start being active, how do I get started?

Getting started is easy! It is definitely something you do not want to dread. Make it fun. Think of ways you can move instead of sitting. Take a walk with your family after dinner, chase your kids around the park instead of sitting on a bench, or water your flowers instead of relying on the sprinkler. Additionally, set a time you know will work for you. If you are not a morning person, waking up to walk at 6 am before work is not going to last long. Set your walking shoes out, or pack a change of clothes and stop by your local walking trail instead of going home first. Lastly, start slow. If you go all out your first day because you are excited and have a lot of energy, most likely you will not make it the whole week. So put on your shoes and have fun!