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Exercise and Physical Activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help maintain a healthy weight, improve heart health, prevent or improve diabetes, manage stress, and can reduce the risk of some cancers.

Getting motivated and finding the time to exercise can be difficult, but here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Invite a friend to go for a quick walk.
  • Use the stairs.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Park farther away from your destination.
  • Get your family out for a bike ride.
  • Join a gym or a recreational center.
  • Hire a certified fitness professional.

A proper exercise program should contain two key components; aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activities. Aerobic exercise gets you moving and gets your heart pumping. Adults should aim for two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. Moderate intensity means you are working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. You should be able to talk, but not sing words to a favorite song. As long as you exercise at moderate intensity, you can break up your exercise into 10 minute sessions. Examples include walking fast, riding a bicycle, water aerobics, or playing a sport, such as soccer or basketball. Muscle-strengthening activities are also needed to work all the major muscle groups, rounding out your exercise program. Add these to your routine two times a week to improve your fitness level and strengthen your body. Examples include lifting weights, working with resistance bands or simply using your own body weight for resistance (such as push-ups, pull-ups or sit-ups). Always introduce new exercises slowly to prevent injury and talk with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

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