AnA lot of times when we think of exercise, we think of something we need to do to lose weight. But did you know that exercise also is very important if you want to live a longer, healthier life.
Are you currently not exercising? By not exercising you have less muscle strength and density. Lowered metabolism. Weight gain. Balance problems. Higher blood pressure. Higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. More depression, stress, and memory problems. And that’s just the start of the damage caused by sedentary living.
Al over the world, people are sitting more and moving less. A good name for it is sitting disease – a sedentary lifestyle that diminishes muscle mass and ages your cardiovascular system while it weakens your immunity and leaves you vulnerable to stress, low moods, and thinking problems associated with aging. If you change just one damaging habit, it should be this one!
Studies show that people I their eighties and nineties (and this applies to people at any age) have found that adding walking and strength training to their daily routines improves strength, balance, energy levels, and more. And that’s just the beginning. Just six months of exercise can improve memory and thinking, boost self-esteem, lessen depression, ease stress, increase immunity, improve you sex life, cool off chronic inflammation, and strengthen your muscles so that you burn more calories.
Moving more makes you less tired, less stressed, and less apt to have body aches and pains. You can count on being in a better mood and having a trimmer, stronger, more energetic body. Of course, exercising results in better heart health but it also helps strengthen your immunity and sharpen your memory skills.
How to get into the habit of exercising:
Live more actively. Walk a little faster. Take the stairs, not the elevator. Park in the farthest spot at the grocery store or mall. Stand while talking on the phone. But don’t think that exercise can only be had during formal exercise sessions. Every moment of every day provides an opportunity to move in healthy, life affirming ways. You’ll find that high-energy living on it own can spark your energy and health.
Start slowly. Resolved to walk for 10 minutes a day. In a week or two, move up to 15 minutes if our feet, joints, legs and lungs are feeing good when you walk. Keep slowly increasing your time and distance until you’re walking 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Add strength-training. It builds muscle, increases circulation, and speeds your metabolism.
Find a buddy. Walking, swimming or exercising with a friend is more fun – and you’re more likely to stick with it if you have an exercise date with someone.
Have “active fun”. Join in the badminton game at picnics. Ask a friend to join you for a walk in a nearby park instead of going for ice cream. Take the grandchildren to the local pool instead of to the movies. It bears repeating: Formal workouts are just one way to become active and stronger.
Wear comfortable clothes and supportive shoes. You don’t need expensive athletic gear. Well-fitting walking shoes will protect your feet from injury, and pants (or shorts) and a shirt that breathes will keep you cool while you’re active.
We are in January of a New Year so there is no better time to get moving now! And remember, your main objective is to get moving, so this can mean playing ball with your kids or Grandkids, going out and playing tennis, taking a walk or a hike... it doesn't have to be dull and dreadful to be beneficial to your health. All movement counts! Even the fun stuff!
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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