Most people know that exercise is good for them, but putting that knowledge into practice can be hard. In fact, studies show that about 65 percent of people who start an exercise program drop out in three to six months. To make a habit of regular exercise, it is important to find an activity you enjoy and can fit into your life. It may also help to work out with a buddy or a group. Talk to your doctor, who can recommend the types of exercises that are right for you.
Besides being good for your physical health, exercise can boost your mood and help you feel good about yourself. When you get enough exercise, your body makes chemicals called endorphins that make you feel happy. These chemicals can also reduce depression and anxiety. In addition, exercise can give you a real sense of accomplishment when you achieve a goal you’ve set for yourself — like mastering a new dance routine or beating your previous 100-meter dash time.
If you’re not able to exercise for long periods of time, you can still reap the benefits by taking short walks or doing strength training exercises at home with free weights or resistance bands. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Moderate intensity is a level that causes you to be out of breath but not so breathless that you cannot speak in full sentences.
When you exercise, choose activities that work all the muscles in your body. Try endurance, or aerobic, activities such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming and biking. Muscle-strengthening activities can include weight lifting, yoga and tai chi. Balance exercises, such as standing on one leg or doing tai chi, can improve your balance and help prevent falls. Flexibility exercises, such as doing stretches or doing a stretching routine, can keep your joints flexible.
While starting anything new can be difficult, when it comes to exercise, getting started is easier than you think. In fact, research shows that you can do something as simple as going for a walk in the park, playing tennis with friends or dancing at a local gym to start seeing benefits. The key is to find an activity you enjoy, because that will make it more likely to become a regular part of your schedule.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask for advice from a fitness expert at a gym or your doctor. They can guide you to the type and amount of exercise that’s best for you, and give you tips on how to stay motivated and consistent. They can also recommend ways to ease any pain that exercise might cause. They may refer you to a physical therapist, for example, if your back or knees are sore after exercise. They can also suggest a range of other treatments, such as massage or acupuncture, to ease any physical discomfort. They may also offer suggestions on how to manage stress, which is important for your mental health and for reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions. Hälsa och träning