Physical Activity Is A Great Way To Stay Active And Healthy

Physical activities are a great way to stay active and to provide health benefits for people of all ages.  Some benefits of physical activity can be achieved immediately, such as reduced feelings of anxiety, reduced blood pressure, and improvements in sleep, some aspects of cognitive function, and insulin sensitivity. Other benefits, such as increased cardiorespiratory fitness, increased muscular strength, decreases in depressive symptoms, and sustained reduction in blood pressure, require a few weeks or months of participation in physical activity. Physical activity can also slow or delay the progression of chronic diseases, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Benefits persist with continued physical activity. {1}

Physical inactivity has been identified as a leading cause of death (6% of deaths globally).  It is also the main cause of approximately 25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes, and 30% of heart disease. {2}

So, let’s get active.  Here are a few ways to start including more physical activity into your life.
Please remember to consult your physician before you start a new physical regimen. 

1.  Focus on your balance. Strengthening your balance can help you stay active longer in your life.  Here are a few examples of activities that help promote better balance:  backward walking, sideways walking, heel walking, toe walking, heel to toe walking, practicing standing from a sitting position, and alternating balancing on one leg and then the other with a counter or wall nearby. Strengthening muscles of the back, abdomen, and legs also improves balance.

2. Walking enhances our lives and has long-lasting benefits. According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking 30 minutes a day has the
following benefits.

a.  Improved circulation
b.  Support joints
c.  Lighten your mood
d. Reduce the risk of hip fractures
e.  Lower Alzheimer’s risk
f.  Slows mental decline
g.  Strengthens muscles
h.  Improves sleep

You can walk in your neighborhood, walk with a small group of friends, with your dogs, or inside of your house with the help of a few videos from YouTube.  Here’s one that we love

3.   Strength Training provides the following health benefits

a.  Reduction of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, back pain and depression.
b.  Weight management
c.   Improvement of balance
d.   Improved sleep
e.   Improved glucose control
f.   Promotion of more independence as you get older. {3}

Strength training includes lifting weights, push-ups, sit ups, pull ups, and planks. What our Prevention team loves about strength training, is that you can lift just about anything.  If you have a bottle of water, you can lift.    Here’s a video about water bottle strength training. 

4.   YOGA.  According to the American Osteopathic Association, “The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body,” explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California. While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and poses that stretch and flex various muscle groups.  Health benefits of yoga include:  {4)

a.  Increased flexibility
b.  Increased muscle strength and tone
c.  Improved respiration, energy and vitality
d.  Maintaining a balanced metabolism
e.  Weight reduction
f.   Cardio and circulatory health
g.  Improved athletic performance
h.  Protection from injury
i.  Relief of chronic pain
j.  Reduction in stress
k. Lowers blood pressure
l.  Development of positive coping skills

Find what works best for your lifestyle and fits into your routine the best.  Again, please remember to consult your physician before you start a new physical regimen.   GESMV’s Prevention Team encourages you to stay active!  Enjoy your day!!

(1) SOURCE:  Center of Disease Control

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