It’s never too late to start an exercise program and with spring in full swing, it’s a great time get in the habit of making regular physical activity an essential part of your day. Even if you aren’t regularly active, it’s not too late to start. While there are recommended activity goals, remember that some physical activity is better than none at all. Your health benefits will increase with the more physical activity that you do.
Exercise does not have to be vigorous to be beneficial. Even a walk around the park or 30 minutes working in the garden can be helpful for the body and mind. Also, if 30 minutes of exercise at one time seems too much, research now suggests that three, 10-minute intervals spread out over the day is just as effective. In a week’s time, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately vigorous activity like brisk walking, and strength-building activity twice a week.
Benefits of Staying Active
1. Increases flexibility
2. Tones muscles
3. Builds stronger bones
4. Improves mobility and balance
5. Boosts self-image
6. Relieves insomnia
7. Relieves tension and stress
8. Offsets feelings of anxiety and depression
9. Helps maintain a healthy weight
10. Enhances cardiovascular fitness
11. Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels (the “good” cholesterol)
12. Reduces the risk of chronic diseases (like type 2 diabetes or certain types of cancer, including breast cancer or colon cancer)
13. Provides fun, enjoyment and an opportunity to get social
14. Provides for a longer, healthier, more independent life
15. Reduces joint and muscle pain
If you have an existing medical condition, or are just starting an exercise program, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning to make sure the exercise program that you choose is designed with your health and wellness in mind. Valley’s Fitness Center can help you get started on an exercise program that’s just right for you. Register for a free info session about our prescriptive exercise program. To schedule a free tour, call 425.656.4006 or to learn more visit valleymed.org/fitness.
Make sure you have your facts straight about the importance of exercise by taking our Activity Quiz.