Exercise

What form of exercise do you enjoy the most?

Exercise is key to good health. But we tend to limit ourselves to one or two types of activity. “People do what they enjoy, or what feels the most effective, so some aspects of exercise and fitness are ignored,” says Rachel Wilson, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In reality, we should all be doing aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Here, we list what you need to know about each exercise type and offer examples to try, with a doctor’s okay. A good advice for any of the exercises you like be sure to look for the right things to use, clothing and equipment, for example the shoes can be the best men’s shoes for standing all day on concrete so you know they will stay along time with you.

1. Aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise, which speeds up your heart rate and breathing, is important for many body functions. It gives your heart and lungs a workout and increases endurance. “If you’re too winded to walk up a flight of stairs, that’s a good indicator that you need more aerobic exercise to help condition your heart and lungs, and get enough blood to your muscles to help them work efficiently,” says Wilson.

Aerobic exercise also helps relax blood vessel walls, lower blood pressure, burn body fat, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, boost mood, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. Combined with weight loss, it can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, too. Over the long term, aerobic exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, depression, and falls.

Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. Try brisk walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dancing, or classes like step aerobics.

2. Strength training
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3. Stretching
Stretching helps maintain flexibility. We often overlook that in youth, when our muscles are healthier. But aging leads to a loss of flexibility in the muscles and tendons. Muscles shorten and don’t function properly. That increases the risk for muscle cramps and pain, muscle damage, strains, joint pain, and falling, and it also makes it tough to get through daily activities, such as bending down to tie your shoes.

Likewise, stretching the muscles routinely makes them longer and more flexible, which increases your range of motion and reduces pain and the risk for injury.

Aim for a program of stretching every day or at least three or four times per week.

Warm up your muscles first, with a few minutes of dynamic stretches—repetitive motion such as marching in place or arm circles. That gets blood and oxygen to muscles, and makes them amenable to change.

Then perform static stretches (holding a stretch position for up to 60 seconds) for the calves, the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and lower back.

“However, don’t push a stretch into the painful range. That tightens the muscle and is counterproductive,” says Wilson.

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Original post by Mr. D. Sader

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