Finding the Right Exercise for You

You‘ve heard it all before, exercise is very important for overall health and is great for reducing stress. And it‘s true! According to longstanding research, exercise:

  • Reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and risk of disease.
  • Strengthens your cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Improves your circulation, digestion, and immune functioning.
  • Stimulates body chemicals called endorphins, which affect your moods and emotions.
  • Enhances self-esteem and self-image.
  • Increases alertness and decreases fatigue.

Here are three basic tips for creating the right exercise program for you:

  • Make an appointment with your primary health care provider. Find out if you have any limitations due to heart, respiratory, or weight conditions.
  • Identify the best time of day for you to exercisemorning, lunch hour, afternoon, or after work. After eating a large meal, wait two hours before exercising. After strenuous exercise, wait 30 minutes before eating.
  • Include all three of the following types of exercise into your program:
  1. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate for a sustained period, preferably about 30 minutes (e.g., walking, jogging, swimming, etc.).
  2. Stretching or flexibility training keeps you supple, limber, and relaxed (e.g., yoga).
  3. Toning exercise focuses on specific muscles that you want to firm or strengthen (e.g., push-ups, sit-ups, weight training, etc.).
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