In Part 2 of our Healthy Lifestyle eating healthier is a great start but exercise is equally as important for your body and your mind. In addition to getting those good endorphins flowing the list of benefits derived from exercise could fill this whole page! What’s most important is that some type of exercise is included in your day or week, even if that just means taking the stairs more often, parking your car further away and walking or taking time to stretch to keep flexible. Another words, keep moving!
Exercise not only helps with your weight, but is also needed for your brain and your overall health. Most studies have proven that exercise is important to assist in the prevention of Cancer, Heart Disease, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and so much more. Walking is probably the simplest exercise that is often overlooked. You don’t need fancy equipment, just a good pace! If walking outside or on a treadmill is difficult for you, consider walking in a pool for an even greater low impact aerobic workout. If you really want to “pump it up”, then go for Interval workouts of adding weights with your cardio or amp up the cardio for 1-2 minutes several times throughout your walk.
For your health, 3-5 hours of exercise per week is recommended but we don’t always have that much time in our busy schedules to accomplish this. Our mantra here is “something is better than nothing”. Whatever you can fit in works even if it’s only 10 minutes and you can always make it up with a little more work out another day. Try adding exercise to your daily calendar like any appointment you need to keep or maybe you can adjust your work schedule by 30 minutes a few days a week. Planning your workout with a buddy is another way to make a commitment and make it more fun.
So how do you decide what is the best form of exercise for you? Obviously if you’ve never exercised before you’re not going to start with running a marathon! But if this is something you’ve decided is your goal for this year to accomplish, then begin with a mix of walking and running until you can run more and walk less. Ideally your week of workouts should include a few hours of cardio along with a couple hours of strength training. If you find machines in a gym boring, then look for a group class so you’re not alone and there’s someone giving you that little extra push you need. You may also find it valuable to invest in a few private or semi private lessons with a personal trainer so you make sure you are exercising properly. We don’t want something good you’re trying to accomplish to turn into something bad by hurting yourself!
If you are currently going through a cancer treatment, you may need to adjust your exercise routine until you’re feeling better and stronger. Remember this is only temporary so listen to your body and just do what you can, if you can. When your treatment(s) are completed, rebuild slowly to prevent you from straining or spraining your body. In the meantime, if possible, try to continue stretching or continuing with a mild yoga program.
There are so many new modalities available to assist with creating a great workout. You may choose an intense cardio DVD, following along with yoga on the T.V. , adding on to your WI game on your home television, Zumba dance class or Karate in your community or even acrobat classes. For intense calorie burn, try a Kettle bell class. You can also go for a bicycle ride, jump rope or just do jumping jacks! What all this means is we have many choices which is great to finding what works for your interest and your time. Mix it up, shake it up and just keep moving, no matter how much or how little, there’s always room for improving!