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Older people in an exercise class

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Exercise and various physical activities are recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can improve your overall health and fitness with regular activity.

A person does not have to join a gym to get exercise, but it is important to remember that a consistent, daily exercise routine is more beneficial than sporadic days of on-again, off-again exercising. Everyone should be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week; however, to prevent weight gain, a person should be physically active for at least 60 minutes most days of the week.

To help lose weight, a person should be physically active for at least 90 minutes most days of the week. Remember that small amounts of moderate activity can add up during the day.

Helen Jones, an Alabama Extension regional human sciences agent, lists a few simple activities you can do daily to get exercise:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Walking upstairs is a great exercise for the heart and it burns calories too.
  • Get up at least 30 minutes earlier in the morning and take a brisk walk to start your day.
  • If you are not a morning person, take a 30 to 40-minute walk after work. This helps relieve stress that has built up during your day.
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot for a longer walk to the office or store.
  • Rent an exercise video rather than a movie. Work out with the video as a leisure time activity. You could even invite some friends over to join you.
  • Do some gardening. Spring is a great time to get outside and work in the yard.
  • Get up and move your body at least five times during every hour you are sitting at your computer. This movement helps prevent eyestrain caused from continuously staring at a computer screen.
  • Plan an active family outing. Rather than sit on the beach, go canoeing, hiking or snow skiing.
  • Walk while you talk. Use a cordless phone so you can work on other tasks instead of being forced to sit in one place.
  • Do not become a couch potato when you get home from work. When you watch television, do some type of house chores, such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming or dusting.

Whatever type of activity you do, be realistic and make small changes over time.  All good things take time, including achieving a healthy lifestyle.

 

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