August is Physical Activity Month, so take a moment to find out the effect exercise can have on your health and well-being, and tips to get started now.
This post is provided by the American Diabetes Association® (www.diabetes.org).
Even if you’ve never exercised before, you can find ways to add physical activity to your day. Even if your activities aren’t strenuous, you’ll still get health benefits. Once physical activity is a part of your routine, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
A complete physical activity routine includes four kinds of activities:
Reducing the amount of time spent sitting or being still is important for everyone. Set your alarm to get up and stretch or walk around the house or office at least every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Aerobic exercise makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress, and improves blood circulation. It also lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels on target. Aim for about 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. If you haven’t been very active recently, start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day. Then work up to more time each week. Or split up your activity for the day—try a brisk 10-minute walk three times each day.
Here are some ways to get aerobic exercise:
Strength training helps build strong bones and muscles and makes everyday chores like carrying groceries easier. With more muscle, you burn more calories, even at rest.
Do your strength routine several times a week. Here are some ways to do strength training:
Flexibility exercises, also called stretching, help keep your joints limber and lower your chances of getting hurt. Gentle stretching for five to ten minutes helps your body warm up and get ready for activities and cool down afterwards.
Choose one or two things you’d like to try to get started. Then set a realistic, achievable plan to make it happen. Learn more about setting realistic, achievable goals below.
Keep track of your activity. You might find that writing everything down helps keep you on target. Think about what works best for you. You might try a notebook, calendar, spreadsheet, cell phone, or online activity tracker to log and record your progress.
It may be helpful to meet on a regular basis with others who are also trying to be active. Think about joining a group for exercise or general support, or find a walking buddy. Then work together to reach your goals.
Text material in this post is used with permission of the American Diabetes Association®. To view the original article, go here.
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“Physical Activity,” American Diabetes Association. March 21, 2017.