It’s that time of year when many of us are making resolutions and goals for the upcoming year. Have you considered adding exercise into your list of goals? Regular physical activity is important for long term health. It’s important at all ages and for all shapes, sizes, and abilities. When physical activity is part of your daily routine you can reap the following benefits:
- Increase your chances of living longer
- Feel better about yourself / Boost mood
- Decrease your chances of becoming depressed
- Sleep well at night
- Move around more easily
- Have stronger muscles and bones
- Stay at or get to a healthy weight
- Combat health conditions and diseases
- Improve your memory
- Get sick less often
There are many types of physical activity. It’s a great idea to include the different types in your exercise routine to keep your body on point and continue to challenge your muscles. As you make an exercise plan, consider how you will incorporate these different types of activity:
- Aerobic: Makes you breath harder and makes your heart beat faster. Make sure to combine both moderate and vigorous aerobic exercise. Moderate exercise is moving at a rate that allows you to talk during the activity. Vigorous exercise is when you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.
- Muscle Strengthening: Makes your muscles stronger. This type of exercise includes things like lifting weights and pushups. This type of activity works to improve your metabolism. As we increase our muscle mass through muscle strengthening activities, we increase the rate at which we burn calories.
- Bone Strengthening: Makes your bones stronger. Activities such as jumping help increase bone mass, like Jumping Jacks or jumping rope.
- Balance and Stretching: Enhances physical stability and flexibility. This type of activity helps to decrease your risk of injury. Try things like stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts etc.
With all these different types of activity, you may be wondering which type is best. The answer is a combination of all of them! You can focus on different types of exercise on different days of the week, or do a bit of each everyday. Click here to find out the amount of time you should be doing each type of activity listed above.
Physical activity and nutrition work together for better health. As important as it is to be active, it’s just as important to develop good nutrition behaviors. You can use the Start Simple with MyPlate app, found here, to get started with tracking your food and physical activity.
What types of physical activity will you try today?