Exercise helps keep your body healthy and your tissues and organs working properly. In keeping your body in good working order, exercise also helps ward off many diseases, such as
type 2 diabetes,
osteoporosis, and many others.
National health and exercise organizations recommend you do moderately intense physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most (preferably all) days of the week. Doing more vigorous exercise is also encouraged.
Your exercise program should include:
Aerobic (Cardiovascular) Exercise
In aerobic exercise, you continually move large muscles in the legs and buttocks. This action causes you to breathe more deeply and your heart to work harder to pump blood, thereby strengthening your heart and lungs.
Spend at least 5-10 minutes warming up your muscles before stretching. For example, walking gently while swinging your arms in wide circles.
Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle.
Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds.
Here are some common stretching mistakes to avoid:
Do not bounce during a stretch.
Do not stretch a muscle that is not warmed up.
If a stretch hurts, ease up. Do not strain or push a muscle too far.
Do not hold your breath while stretching.
Since brisk walking qualifies as moderately intense physical activity, that is a place to start if you are new to exercise. Before starting an exercise program,
check with your doctor
about any possible medical problems you may have that would limit your exercise program.
Consider making an appointment with a
certified athletic trainer
to help you develop a safe, effective, and enjoyable exercise program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through a referral from your doctor or a friend. Make sure this person understands your goals and can help you maintain an exercise program that you will enjoy and stick with.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a