Spring Into Action!
Now that sunny days are starting to come back, it’s a good time to amplify up that exercise routine. The health benefits of regular exercise are endless, but recent studies show even higher benefits associated with increasing metabolic rate and reducing body fat. These two factors help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the benefits of exercise and how to incorporate a healthy exercise routine into your daily life:
- To lose weight and keep it off. People need a high amount of physical activity unless they also adjust their diet and reduce the amount of calories they’re eating and drinking. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires both regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan. The CDC has some great tools and information about nutrition, physical activity and weight loss. Visit Healthy Weight for more information.
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States, but getting at least 150 minutes a week (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can put people at a lower risk for these diseases. People can reduce their risk even further with more physical activity. Regular physical activity can also lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
- Improve mental health and mood. Regular physical activity can help keep thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp as people age. It can also reduce the risk of depression and may help people sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities three to five times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can provide these mental health benefits.
Beginner workout to do anywhere:
- Step-ups. Use a step or platform that is about four inches high. Stand with feet hip-width apart and jump onto the step or platform at least 15 times. Repeat after walking around the platform in a complete circle.
- Squats. Stand with feet hip-width apart and place arms to the your sides. Pretend there is a chair behind you and almost sit bringing your arms out in front keeping the back flat and abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Push-ups. Begin on your knees or feet and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the step or platform. Inhale as you lower your body to the step and exhale as you push yourself up. Repeat for 15 repetitions.
- Tricep dips. Sit with your back to the step and place your hands behind you on the step. Lift and lower your body using your tricep muscles to do the work keeping your elbows in line with your wrists. Repeat 12 times.
- Lunges. Stand with one foot on the step and place your other foot behind you, so that your front knee is over your heel. Lower your body keeping your shoulders in line with your hips at least 12 times for each leg. Repeat on the other leg.