Make Exercise a Part of Your Regular Day

How much do you exercise on a daily basis? And no, lying on the couch thinking that you "really should go to the gym today" doesn’t count. If you’re like most people, you don’t get enough exercise. When you think about it, our culture doesn’t make it any easier, does it? Why should I walk to the store? The car’s right there. It’s much easier to hire someone to come and mow your lawn than to do it yourself. Same goes for shoveling snow. The elevator’s right when you walk in the door, but you have to really hunt to find the staircase, right?

The benefits of regular physical activity have been well documented by science. People who make regular exercise a part of their daily lives will live longer than those who don’t, along with enjoying a boost in energy, reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other physical maladies.

Your goal, if you’re just starting out, should be to exercise from 30 to 60 minutes, three to four times a week. This exercise doesn’t have to be anything major, for most people, simply taking a short walk several times a week is enough to get them started back on the road to fitness. If it’s been a really long time since you’ve exercised, you’ve been sedentary (completely without physical activity), are severely overweight, or have other health concerns, it would pay to consult a physician before starting any type of exercise program. For most of us, however, light to moderate exercise can do nothing but improve our overall health.

Exercise is beneficial for everyone, even children and senior citizens. Even if you are in your sixties or seventies, there’s no reason not to benefit from regular physical activity. Remember though, if you are older, start a bit slower. If you’ve been without physical activity for some time, consult a physician and follow their recommendations. Start with short walks on a flat, uniform surface. Many local shopping malls have formed “walking clubs” that are uniquely suited to this purpose.

For children, a great way to make sure that they get enough exercise is simply to make sure that their lifestyle allows for it. Limit sedentary activities, such as television and video games. Assign chores that get them moving, such as mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Most important, don't forget the physical benefits of simply running around outside!

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