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 exercise: morning, 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:
- Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate for a sustained period, preferably about 30 minutes (e.g., walking, jogging, swimming, etc.).
- Stretching or flexibility training keeps you supple, limber, and relaxed (e.g., yoga).
- Toning exercise focuses on specific muscles that you want to firm or strengthen (e.g., push-ups, sit-ups, weight training, etc.).