We hear over and over again how important exercise is to our health. But do we understand why? Why exercise?
What you gain
Exercise brings many benefits. Did you know that the simple act of adding exercise to your day can add years to your life? A large study from JAMA clearly shows that the more fit you are the longer you live. And it’s not just that you add years, but those years are healthier, with decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. The science is pretty clear – exercising gives you both time and a better quality of life.
What else can exercise do for you? Studies show it can help depression, in fact exercise is often prescribed to help ease some of the symptoms of depression and overall, boost your mood! It’s also thought to lower the stress hormones coursing through your body, boost endorphins and improve sleep.
- To achieve health benefits, adults between 18-64 years should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 min or more.
- Boost your benefits by adding muscle/bone strengthening activities using major muscle groups, at least two days per week.
- More physical activity provides greater health benefits!
What is vigorous-intensity? Are you breathing hard and really building up a sweat? Think of how you feel when running or cross-country skiing!
Where do I begin?
If you are already exercising, perhaps going for a few walks a week, then maybe it’s time to amp things up! Increase the intensity of your walks by choosing a hilly neighborhood, or adding a few sets of stairs. If you are up for it, adding even 5-10 minutes of jogging can really help get your heart and muscles going. (Of course, check with your Doctor first!)
New to exercise? Start slow. You’ll be more successful if you start with a short routine of 10-15 min. 3 times a week. Add 5 min. to each exercise session every week until you are hitting that 150 minutes a week target.
Have fun trying to reach your 150 min! Take up an activity that you’ve always wanted to try, yoga, dance, signing up for a community 5K or maybe you’ve always believed that you’d be an excellent tap dancer!
As Spring takes hold ( finally!), why not check out some of the awesome trails in the KW area. Hiking trails are a great way to both take in nature and get your exercise – good for the body and the soul!
There is no doubt that getting regular exercise throughout your life provides you with many benefits. How can you boost your activity and reap those benefits for yourself?