The warmer weather is a great time to start achieving your goal to become more active. It’s surprising how easy it is to add simple activities to your everyday life and increase how much you move throughout the day.
Regular exercise can help people of all ages and levels of physician ability lead a healthier life. Exercise helps to keep our bodies functioning better, and keeps heart disease, diabetes, and many other diseases at bay. Exercise is a key ingredient when it comes to losing weight.
Regular exercise can
- Improve your chances of living longer and living healthier
- Help protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
- Help protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial cancer
- Help prevent type 2 diabetes
- Help prevent the irreplaceable loss of bone known as osteoporosis
- Reduce the risk of falling and improve cognitive function among older adults
- Relieve symptoms of depression and improves mood
- Prevent weight gain, promote weight loss, and help keep weight off after weight loss
- Improve heart-lung and muscle fitness
- Improve sleep
Try incorporating the following tips into your daily schedule:
Participate in activities that you enjoy doing! Activities such as gardening, walking, and even dancing can assist in your journey to becoming physically active and healthy. Develop a support group and have friends and family join you in your goal. Exercise can be a wonderful time to bond with a family member or a friend.
But take it slow to avoid injury:
- Plan to be physically active at a time when you are most energized. This allows you to fully benefit from the workout, and it prevents injuries that may occur if you are physically or mentally sluggish during your workout.
- Warm up before you start. Jumping right into physical activity can cause injury and muscle strain. By adding five to ten minutes to your routine, you give yourself a chance to warm-up.
- After being physically active, spend five minutes or so walking or moving around slowly until your heart rate goes back to normal. Cooling down helps to prevent an abrupt drop in blood pressure and may help prevent muscle stiffness.
- Stretch after your muscles are warmed up. When stretching, don’t bounce. Instead, hold each stretch comfortably for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Making sure your body has enough fluids is important to keeping your body temperature normal and lubricate your joints, especially in the summer. When dehydrated, you may feel fatigued, have headaches, become nauseated, or feel dizzy.
- Pay attention to your breathing while being physically active. Rapid and shallow breathing can lead to shortness of breath and even cause dizziness or fainting. By breathing naturally and deeply, you will be able to be physically active longer and with less effort. During strength training, a common mistake people often make is holding their breath. Don’t hold your breath, but exhale when exerting your muscles and inhale when relaxing.
- Listen to your body for warning signs. Be mindful of the differences between your body’s normal responses to physical activity and abnormal responses that should be warning signs to STOP and get medical help.
Using these tips to become more physically active will help you in achieving your goal of living a longer, healthier life.