Exercise: Your Best Friend in Health

BikingIf you really want to improve your life, maintain muscle tone and bodyweight, keep your bones strong, lift your mood, protect your brain and reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer—look no further than your workout clothes and walking shoes.

That’s right: Exercise has been shown to do all of these things and more. There is no vitamin or prescription pill that can come anywhere close. There are many ways exercise can give you an edge when it comes to your health. It improves your circulation, lowers blood pressure, strengthens your heart, and lowers inflammation, insulin and insulin-like growth factors. These last three are vitally important for staving off chronic illness. While the mechanisms are still being explored, studies going as far back as the 1980s consistently show that regular exercise keeps you mentally and emotionally healthy.

The latest recommendations are for adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each and every week. And kids need to be moderately active 60 minutes every single day!

What exactly is “moderate activity?” Activities like going for a bike ride, walking briskly or working in the garden. Vigorous activities are those that make you sweat and breathe fast and deep. So get moving! Invest in a pedometer and work your way up to 10,000 steps per day. If walking is painful or difficult, get down to the local pool and start swimming.

Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Here’s to an active spring and summer!

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