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Finding The Right Exercise Regimen


The Importance of Exercise

We are all aware that exercise is an important pillar of healthy living, but how essential is regular activity really? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), routine physical activity can help combat obesity and strengthen your bones and muscles, helping to prevent injury or deterioration. Regular exercise can also help lower your risk of developing certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes or heart disease. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institution (NHLBI) suggests between 60 to 300 minutes of moderate-to-high intensity exercise a week for healthy adults.

Exercise and Mental Health

Doctors’ orders to exercise extend beyond physical health. Adhering to a fitness regimen can considerably benefit mental health by helping alleviate stress and manage such mental health conditions as ADHD, Depression and PTSD. According to HelpGuide, a non-profit mental wellbeing organization, exercise also positively effects self-esteem, “Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful. You’ll feel better about your appearance and, by meeting even small exercise goals, you’ll feel a sense of achievement.”

Suiting Your Needs

Not everyone can do everything. We all have different fitness levels and physical restrictions. When choosing an exercise regimen, it is important to choose activities that fit within your realm of capabilities. For example, if you have arthritis exercising can be tricky but according to the American Arthritis Foundation, it is an essential part of condition management. So while it may be hard to find an exercise program that works for your ability level, there are many low-impact options to choose from such as swimming or walking.

Choices, Choices, Choices!

Where to start? While there are four main categories of physical exercise: aerobic (cardo), strength training, flexibility and balance exercise, the list of physical activities you can partake in is endless. Here are a few of the many exercises you can try:

  • Water sports – waterskiing, surfing or scuba-diving
  • Team sports – basketball, football, rugby, baseball, hockey and soccer
  • Extreme sports – skydiving, zip-lining and mountain climbing
  • Cardio workouts – zumba, jogging, dancing, jump-rope
  • Martial arts – karate, judo, aikido, taekwondo, kick-boxing
  • Mind-Body exercise – tai chi, yoga, pilates

The Benefits of Outdoors Action

According to GREATIST, exercising outdoors can have a myriad of benefits including increased energy, feelings of revitalization as well as increased exposure to Vitamin D (one of the best vitamins for bone and immune health). There are so many fun outdoors activities you can try, such as hiking, kayaking, mountain climbing, volleyball, swimming in the ocean, frisbee, jogging, beach yoga or taking your pup for a walk.

Combining Exercise with Socializing

Class exercises such as zumba, group yoga and aerobics are also currently trending. LiveStrong suggests many social benefits can arise from exercising with a group or friend. Group exercise can help you better your social life by forming friendships within your fitness classes or work on existing friendships by attending the gym with a buddy and catching up while you work out. Many people partake in couple exercise as well, such as tandem bikes or hikes together which can increase a couple’s bond.

Switching it Up

Experts say it is best to vary your approach to exercise. People often get burned out and bored with the same fitness routine day after day. If you know you’re going to go on the treadmill every evening at the same time, for the same duration eventually you may get turned off exercise altogether. So the bottom Line? Keep moving and trying new activities.

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