#2: Healthy Activity
maintain physical and mental health in the optimum range, you need to incorporate
exercise along with healthy nutrition into your lifestyle. If by now you are thinking:
· I'm too old,
· I'm too tired,
· I don't have
· I get enough exercise walking around the house/office, or
· Exercise is so boring, I hate it!
stay with me. We'll try to
find something that works for you.
types of exercise are important to improving health and quality of life: aerobic
and weight-bearing. Aerobic exercise (brisk walking/jogging/running, swimming,
etc.) strengthens the heart and lungs and improves their ability to deliver oxygen
and nutrients to the entire body. This decreases fatigue, increases stamina and
improves physical and mental well-being. Weight-bearing exercise replaces fat
with muscle, burns extra calories, and builds strong bones. This improves mobility,
and fights obesity and osteoporosis. Thirty minutes each of aerobic and weight-bearing
exercise at least 3 times/week is needed to reap maximum benefits. Out of each
week's total of 168 hours, are you willing to invest 3 hours to improve your physical
and mental health and quality of life?
To Get Started
· First, regardless of age, check with your doctor
re a suitable exercise program for you.
· Set 1 - 2 measurable, achievable
goals (e.g. starting most days feeling energetic; able to walk to and from the
store without tiring within 3 months).
· Start slowly and gradually
increase distance, speed, weight and repetitions as you can tolerate it.
Push to the point of fatigue but not exhaustion. Gradually increasing demands
will force your body to adapt to new levels. Sudden, heavy demands can overwhelm
your body's resources and be dangerous.
To Keep Going
· Measure your progress toward goals. As you achieve
goals, set new ones.
· Incorporate more activity into daily life (take
the stairs, walk to the store, work in the garden, etc.).
with a friend if possible.
· Choose social/recreational activities
that involve exercise and fun (e.g. play tennis, take up line-dancing or hiking).
good nutrition, healthy activity is a lifestyle commitment, not a short-term intervention.
Find something that motivates you and enjoy the benefits!