Wherever we are on our health journeys, there’s no overstating the benefits of body movement. Next time you hear “regular exercise is good for everybody,” consider how these four types of physical activity really are for everyone:
- Strength training. The CDC recommends strength training (also known as muscle-strengthening activities) at least two times per week, and for good reasons: Maintaining and building strength in our muscles, ligaments, and tendons, reducing our risk for osteoporosis, maintaining lean muscle mass, and preventing injury and falls. As a reminder, remember to hit all major muscle groups, including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
- Cardiovascular activity. When it comes to cardiovascular health, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, and biking are beneficial, even for those who experience a chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma. Not only do these exercises help maintain heart health, they also increase blood flow and lung capacity, regulate blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and produce feel-good endorphins. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise each week, which could be 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days a week.
- Yoga and stretching. Exercises used in yoga and Pilates emphasize balance and flexibility, which help joints, muscles, and resilience to stress. Whether you’re standing on one leg in tree pose or bending in a new direction, these exercises can reduce painful inflammation from arthritis and fibromyalgia. And because yoga also helps with tension and anxiety, your mind-body connection benefits, too.
- Coordination. It’s easy to forget how much the brain benefits from exercise. If you’re playing sports or taking a dance class, the hand-eye coordination and aerobics you’re experiencing are automatically helping to improve balance and sharpen your mind. Exercise involving the continuous use of our whole mind and body are particularly important as we age; staying active is key to our body’s resistance against a wide range of diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Find a local discounted gym and access on-demand, online fitness classes through our Active&Fit Direct program: Log in to your PacificSource InTouch account.
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