We’ve heard it all before; you should exercise, it’s good for you. It can help you lose weight. It’ll make you look “so good.” But if you’re one of the many people that have a busy schedule with work and living your life it can sometimes be difficult to get the right amount of exercise in that you need. The good news is that it’s never too late to start. You can start slowly, and find ways to fit more physical activity into your life. To get the most benefit, you should try to get the recommended amount of exercise for your age. If you can do it, the payoff will be in your favor. It can help prevent or control many diseases, and likely even help you live longer!
What’s the key to successful exercise programs?
-> HAVING FUN WITH IT! You tend to enjoy things that are…enjoyable.
-> Organizing a workout plan is very beneficial to helping you stick to it
-> Workout with other people! Having support makes a world of a difference
- Helps with weight maintenance
- To maintain your weight, the calories you eat and drink must equal the energy/calories you burn
- So, exercise helps achieve that calorie burning effort
- Helps reduce the risk of heart disease
- Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation
- The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body which helps the heart and brain function properly
- Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels
- Exercise helps insulin in the blood work better which then works to regulate blood sugar levels
- Over time, an increased level of blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance and then possibly diabetes
- May aid efforts to quit smoking
- Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing your cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- May help to improve your mental health and mood
- During exercise, your body releases chemicals that can help improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed
- This often helps with stress maintenance and depression reduction
- Helps allow thinking, learning and judgement skills to stay sharp with age
- Exercise stimulates your body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and function of your brain
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Regular exercise can help kids and teens build strong bones
- Later in life, it can also slow the loss of bone density (osteoporosis) that often comes with age
- Can aid in improving sleep quality
- Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because your muscles will be more fatigued and ready to rest with you! (as long as you don’t exercise too late in the day – released endorphins will try to keep you away)
- Increase chances of living longer
- Studies show that physical activity can reduce your health risk from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers
How much should you be exercising?
- It is recommended that children and/or teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day in order to achieve successful physical development. This exercise should be moderate-intensity aerobic activity like playing sports, running around on the playground, etc. This supports the efforts of reducing screen time in youth!
- It is also recommended that vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity, or bone-strengthening activities take place at least 3x per week as well
Adults (18 years old +)
- It is recommended that the average adult gets at least 30 mins of aerobic exercise per day (this includes walking, jogging/running, swimming, biking, yoga, etc.)
- It is also recommended that for maximum physical health benefit, adults take part in strengthening activities at least 2x per week (this includes weight training, resistance training and bodyweight exercises)
Seniors (65 years old +) and pregnant women
- Talk to your health care professional as to how much you should be exercising in general for safety and well-being