It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising

It’s been said that exercise is medicine. And, indeed, physical activity benefits adults in numerous ways. Starting an exercise regimen or maintaining physical activity can contribute to healthy aging.

It’s no secret that physical activity is beneficial to our health. But sometimes finding the motivation to exercise becomes the most difficult part of developing an exercise regimen that one can embrace and maintain. Reports from the Mayo Clinic suggest that exercise can benefit your health by controlling weight, combating chronic disease and health conditions, improving mood and outlook, boosting energy, promoting better sleep, improving your sex life, and providing fun and even social outlets.

In February, the US Government’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released the 2018 Physical Activities Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report. It details exercise’s ability to improve quality of life, executive function, and physical function; reduce anxiety and the risk of clinical depression; and enhance sleep quality. Additionally, the report notes that replacing sedentary behaviors with light-intensity physical activity can reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, the incidence of type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Those benefits alone should offer substantial motivation.

According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week, or a total of 150 minutes per week, can contribute to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It may sound overwhelming to find schedule availability and commit yourself to sizable blocks of time engaged in physical activity. But even increments of 10 minutes engaged in physical activity are beneficial to your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Beneficial activities can be as simple as walking, riding a bicycle, swimming, or raking leaves. The important thing is to change sedentary behaviors and engage in some form of activity. You may choose to exercise on your own or participate in organized exercise programs at a gym, YWCA, or other facility. It’s wise to check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. Even if you have physical limitations, there are programs designed for your benefit such as chair yoga and resistance training. The important thing is to get moving to improve your health!

Author
Ithaca Primary Care

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