Great Workouts for Body and Mind

While the gym scene can be intimidating, there are plenty of activities you can do outside the gym to keep yourself healthy and fit.  Regular exercise helps you feel better and live longer.  The Harvard Medical School recommends five activities to get or keep you in shape and lower your risk for disease.  Swimming is considered by some to be the perfect workout.  The buoyancy of water takes the strain off joints while still providing great exercise and improved mental state.  Water aerobics is another option.  Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that combines movement and relaxation which benefits the body and mind.  A series of graceful movements are done which can help with balance and mood.  Another beneficial workout is strength training.

Comfortably lifting weights keeps muscles strong and burns calories.  It can also help preserve brain function in later years.  Start light with just a pound or two and slowly increase weights over time.  Walking is a simple but powerful form of exercise.  Not only can it help you to stay trim, but it can improve cholesterol and blood pressure levels, strengthen bones and lower your risk for diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  It can also lift your mood and help with memory loss.  Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can go a long way toward preventing incontinence.  While many women are familiar with these exercises, men can also benefit.  Lots of other activities that are part of our normal day count as exercise such as raking, vacuuming and playing with kids or grandkids.  The goal is to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and to do strength training twice a week.  If you do, you can consider yourself an “active” person!

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