Six Ways Exercise Benefits Your Health

The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes or 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. This comes out to just five, 30-minute workouts a week. Yet nearly 80 percent of American adults fall short of this recommendation.

It’s easy to come up with excuses for skipping a workout. Some people say they don’t have time to exercise. Others claim they don’t like working up a sweat. But the truth is no one can afford to be inactive. More people than ever are affected by obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. If you don’t engage in regular exercise, your risk for these health conditions goes up dramatically.

Besides reducing your risk for many chronic health conditions, exercise also:

  • Increases blood circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers overall cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Improves mental health
  • Helps manage stress
  • Enhances sleep quality

For many people, getting started is the most difficult part. Here are a few tips to work more exercise into your routine:

  • Define your goals – Instead of vowing to get more exercise, make your goal specific and defined. For example, aim to hit the gym for 30 minutes, three times a week.
  • Do what you love – There’s no point in struggling through workouts you can’t stand. Instead, be intentional about your workouts and find activities you feel passionate about and enjoy doing.
  • Stay consistent – Schedule exercise like you would other types of appointments. Also, remember that the most important thing is to get moving. Even if you don’t feel like hitting the gym, you can still work out. Consider taking a walk outside or going to your local yoga studio instead.
  • Start your day with movement – Exercising first thing in the morning can help set a positive tone and improve your mental focus for the rest of the day. It can also help you stick with your exercise routine. When you exercise in the morning, you can stay late at work or take your kids to after-school activities, without worrying that you still have to squeeze in workout time.
  • Find a workout buddy – Knowing you’ve made a commitment to meet someone for a workout makes it harder to skip. Having someone to work out with can also make exercise more fun.

Edward-Elmhurst Health creates an environment that helps people pursue healthy behaviors. Our multi-disciplinary teams, including doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists, health coaches and behavioral health specialists, work together to help patients establish plans that will help them successfully get active and establish an exercise plan they’ll stick with for years to come.

To learn more about the benefits of exercise, visit us online. To make an appointment with a Healthy Driven doctor and learn how to establish an exercise plan, visit us here.
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