Sunday, April 14, 2024

Exercise is important for your health and well-being, regardless of your height

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Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our daily lives. No matter who you are, your life has been affected in one way or another. Stress builds up and you may need to find a way to decompress while also socially distancing yourself. Take the stage to the left of my favorite hobby: exercising!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: she’s one of those exercise freaks who’ll tell me I have to exercise for several hours every day. Well no. What I’m going to tell you is that you can exercise for yourself. Finding your “soul mate workout” or simple activities you can do is imperative. You might think that you need to be a certain height or already in shape to exercise. This is simply not true and neither is it helpful for your health and well being, as exercise, even in small amounts, helps improve blood pressure, heart problems, blood pressure control. blood sugar and mood. It can also help you live longer.

So, let’s start with a few questions you might have. How Much Physical Activity Does Your Body Need? Is it possible to be active in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? How can you exercise for yourself? What if being overweight or having painful joints made it difficult to exercise? What if you haven’t been active at all? We have the answers for you.

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

Before you start counting minutes, understand this: Almost anything that gets your body moving counts as exercise, and active minutes add up over the day and week.

Every week, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity. So depending on the intensity of the exercise, this may last 30 minutes (moderate) – or just 15 minutes (vigorous) – five days a week. Experts also recommend muscle building activities at least twice a week. But even if you can’t achieve these goals, some activities are always better than none. Just trying to move more and sit less will help. Now, let’s break this down a bit further.

What is moderate physical activity?

Moderate activity increases your heart rate, causes you to sweat, and allows you to talk but not sing. Here are some examples:

  • walk at a brisk pace
  • water aerobics
  • pushing a lawn mower or vacuum cleaner
  • ride a bike on flat ground
  • casual dance.

What is vigorous physical activity?

Strenuous activity causes your heart rate to increase sharply, you breathe very hard, and you can only say a few words, not full sentences. Here are some examples:

  • jogging or running
  • play basketball
  • swimming laps
  • biking quickly or over the hills.

What if I am overweight or have painful joints?

There are several activities that are suitable for people of all ages and sizes. Here are just a few:

  • Videos and aerobic walking workouts available on TV, cable or streaming services (more information below)
  • elliptical machine
  • recumbent bike
  • water aerobics.

These activities are economical or free and easy to do. You can always increase or decrease your intensity as much as you can.

So how do you get started?

Just do it! However, it is important not to spend anything thinking that you are going to compete in the Olympics tomorrow. So listen to your body. If you haven’t exercised regularly, I recommend that you start exercising in 10-minute bursts. Finally, you can extend your sessions as you get used to the exercise. Your goal is to be consistent and to make exercise a part of your life.

What is the minimum amount of exercise I can do to make a big difference in my health?

An analysis of several studies using activity trackers in middle-aged or older people indicated that 11 minutes moderate to vigorous exercise per day, combined with less than 8.5 hours of sedentary lifestyle per day, reduces the risk of dying prematurely. Only 11 minutes, plus a commitment to move more and sit less throughout the day! You can do it.

What are some tools and resources to help me explore physical activity?

  • If you like to walk: Take free short walks near you. Or explore the walking workouts available online, such as that one with Leslie Sansone. You can take walks from one to eight kilometers in the comfort of your living room.
  • If you want to use your DVD or video player: Take a look at Collage video, which has a collection of over 1,200 fitness DVDs available at low prices. They also offer options if you are older or have physical disabilities that do not allow you to walk or move around easily. Your local library may also have exercise DVDs or videos.
  • If you’re looking for a wide range of on-demand workouts, such as hip-hop dance and strength or cardio workouts, available for free or as part of a membership or monthly subscription: You can find these options on TV, cable, and streaming channels, or online fitness organizations, such as the YMCA 360 and the American Council on Fitness. Or try these flexibility, strength, and balanced exercises or short workouts designed for the elderly from the National Institute on Aging. Depending on your fitness level and ability to walk and move around, you may also want to consider chair workouts.

In addition to these resources, be on the lookout for local on-demand workouts by staying connected to social media like Twitter or Instagram. Dr Arghavan Salles and I led the Social distancing fitness challenge during the COVID-19 surge last spring to encourage our patients to be active.

My final thoughts: you can do it! Believe in yourself. You will surprise yourself.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @askdrfatima

The post office Exercise is important for your health and well-being, regardless of your height appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.


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