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Exercise as Part of Your Life

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Almost anyone, at any age, can safely do some kind of exercise or physical activity.  You can be active even if you have a long-term condition like heart disease, diabetes or arthritis. And almost nothing is more important to your health. Physical activity helps you feel good and look good, too. It can:

  • Help you maintain and improve physical strength and fitness.
  • Help improve your ability to do the everyday things you care about.
  • Help improve your balance.
  • Help you manage conditions like diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis (weakening of your bones).
  • Help reduce feelings of depression and improve your mood.

Getting Started

Staying safe while you exercise is always important, but especially so when you’re starting a new activity or haven’t been active for a long time.

  • Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
  • Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing and proper shoes that provide support.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise.
  • Make sure you stretch after you exercise.

Making a Realistic Plan

You shouldn’t set unrealistic goals for yourself.  Make a sensible plan based on how active you are now. Try to do a variety of exercises that help with endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. And it’s good to change your exercises from day to day.

  • Duration: exercise should last at least 15 minutes, ideally 30 minutes.
  • Frequency: a minimum of twice a week, more if possible.
  • Space: large enough for outstretched arms, room to walk around a chair; floor should be flat and stable; good air flow and cool temperature; nothing on the floor to trip over.
  • Be sure to give yourself time to cool down after your workout; this will slow your breathing and your heart rate.
  • And most of all, have some fun! Exercise should be enjoyable and give you more zest for living.

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