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Exercise: A New Goal

Por Andrea Bianchi, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ Team -

A healthy lifestyle includes a complete diet, which is balanced and nutritious, in combination with an exercise routine that’s tailored to your needs and characteristics. Your goal: to stay active!

Physical activity is essential to the healthy lifestyle of a child, a pregnant woman, a teenager, an older adult, or a healthy person with a medical condition ... that is, to everyone.

Physical activity will provide great benefits to your health and wellbeing. Among them, are: 

  • It reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, colon cancer, breast cancer,and high cholesterol levels.
  • Prevents older people from falling.
  • Reducesdepression .
  • Helps in weight loss and reduces fat in the abdominal area.
  • Increases bone density (stronger bones).
  • Improves the quality of sleep.
  • Increases your energy level.
  • Gives you a sense of well-being. 

These are only some of the many benefits provided by physical activity.

There are two main types of exercises: aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Aerobic exercisesincrease your heart rate and use all your muscles rhythmically. It includes exercises such as jogging, biking, jumping, dancing, and swimming. Muscle-strengthening exercises tone up your muscles by making them work harder than normal. These exercises include climbing, lifting weights, and stretching with resistance bands. A combination of these two types of exercises will give you the best results. 

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published in 2008 by the United States Department of Health (USDA), recommend engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week. This is what research has shown to have positive results on health. However, additional health benefits occur with more physical activity, so if you’re already doing 150 minutes of exercises per week, set a new goal at 300 minutes per week, spread over different days. 

This physical activity goal can be accomplished by performing 10-minute sessions that can be gradually increased as your fitness improves. You don’t need to start with 150 minutes a week if you haven’t exercised for some time. You can start with as little as 60 minutes a week; that is, ten minutes six times a week. 

When it comes to physical activity, some is better than none. So stop thinking about it and begin an exercise routine today! Remember to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you're pregnant,breastfeeding, or if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension or osteoporosis. 

For more information, visit http://www.health.gov/paguidelines 

Source: 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Retrieved on December, 2008 from: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines

 

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