Much has been said about how exercise is needed to maintain a healthy weight, but there are also some surprising benefits to regular exercise, such as enhancing your mental and emotional outlook, reducing stress, increasing immune function, and improving sleep. Exercise contributes to our overall physical, mental, and emotional health.
Get more regular exercise?
While many of us might struggle to find the time or feel reluctant to exercise regularly, we typically feel energized and better about ourselves at the end of a workout. Making exercise a part of your daily routine all starts with setting realistic goals and choosing a variety of activities you enjoy.
- Range-of-motion or stretching exercises. These involve moving a joint as far as it will go (without pain). You can do this with basic stretches or through dance, yoga, tai chi, and similar activities.
- Endurance or conditioning exercises. Endurance exercises include walking, biking, climbing stairs, aerobics, and swimming. These exercises strengthen muscles and build coordination and endurance.
- Strengthening exercises. Resistance exercises help build strong muscles. You can do them with ankle and wrist weights, resistance machines, resistance bands, or free weights (handheld weights).
- Starting off slow with a warm-up and finding an exercise partner can make your exercise experience more enjoyable, and scheduling and keeping a record of your exercise can help you stay on track.