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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday Weigh In - Health Benefits of Exercise

Exercise.  The word alone conjures up memories of P.E. class, doing boring (and sometimes painful) calisthenics on the cold, hard (and sometimes dirty) gymnasium floor.  Or military boot camp, marching for miles before a 5 A.M. breakfast. 

But it doesn't have to be that way.  Exercise geared to your own personal strengths can be rewarding physically and mentally.  Find something you enjoy, and keep doing it to the best of your ability (with your physician's consent, of course).  Be it running or walking, swimming, ballroom dancing, zoomba, hula hooping or chair exercise, the Mayo Clinic tells us we can benefit from regular exercise in SEVEN different ways.  See:

As a dietitian, I often see patients with limited mobility.  This may be due to age, arthritis, even amputation.  Many of them have given up on exercise, not realizing they still have options for staying physically and mentally fit. There are warm water exercises, chair exercises coupled with good dance music, or gentle yoga done from a seated position.  Here is just one example:

And the most important health tip of all: Grab a friend and have fun!

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